BT gets more than half of all new superfast broadband additions and 81 percent of brand new copper and fibre customers on the Openreach network
There are now 5.9 million fibre customers on the Openreach network, with 415,000 taking up superfast services during the fourth quarter of 2014 – half of which signed up with BT’s retail business.
The number of net fibre additions on Openreach actually fell nine percent year on year, a quirk that BT attributed to an exceptional performance in the corresponding quarter last year, as the number of premises passed reached 25 million, or 85 percent of UK homes and businesses.
In total, 130,000 brand new (copper of fibre) broadband customers joined the Openreach network – 105,000 of which took services from BT. The remaining 19 percent of additions came from third party providers like Sky and TalkTalk.
Income from Openreach boosted BT’s fourth quarter and yearly revenues, with gains in then consumer and business markets offsetting falls in BT Global Services. BT’s figures also include income from EE since the £12.5 billion acquisition was completed om 29 January.
Fourth quarter revenues jumped by 22 percent year on year to £5.7 billion, with reported pre-tax profits of £893 million – a six percent rise. Yearly revenues reached £18.9 billion, a six percent increase, with pre tax profits growing by 15 percent to £3 billion.
The company has just detailed the full scale of its planned rollout for ultrafast broadband using a combination of fibre to the premise (FTTP) and G.Fast technology, as well as plans to expand EE’s 4G network to cover 95 percent of the UK landmass by the end of the decade.
“This has been a landmark year for BT. We’ve completed our acquisition of EE, the UK’s best 4G mobile network provider, we’ve passed more than 25 million premises with fibre and we’ve also delivered a strong financial performance,” boasted BT CEO Gavin Patterson.
“The integration of EE is going well and we now see the opportunity to deliver more synergies than we originally expected, and at a lower cost. And we’re reorganising our business to better serve customers both in the UK and internationally.
“BT Mobile has done well since its launch, building a customer base of over 400,000. And in the business market, we’ve seen very strong demand for our cyber security expertise with our security business growing by 24 percent.”
BT has come under pressure from regulator Ofcom to make concessions on Openreach, with competitors arguing the company has an unfair advantage and that the current model offers little incentive for BT or rivals to invest in fibre infrastructure. BT refutes this, arguing that Openreach benefits from BT’s capital and R&D capabilities.
Ofcom wants Openreach to be more independent and says BT should make a detailed database of its ducts and poles available to third parties who could lay their own cables.