BT passes 16m premises, dominates fibre subscriptions

BT passes 16m premises, dominates fibre subscriptions

Summary: The telco's first-quarter results have revealed BT's dominance of UK fibre connections.

TOPICS: BT, Fiber, Telcos, NBN

UK telco giant BT reported its first-quarter results to June 30 overnight, and came away with a tidy £1.4 billion of EBITDA (earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation) that was down 1 percent on the same quarter last year. The group's revenue was also down 1 percent, and sat a touch under £4.5 billion.

"BT continues to make good progress, delivering another quarter of solid growth in underlying profit before tax. This is despite the impact of regulation and the significant investments we are making for the future," BT CEO Ian Livingston said in a statement (PDF).

"Fibre remains at the heart of our plans and take-up is strong. Our fibre network now passes more than 16 million premises, with more than 1.7 million connected."

It's not hard to see why Livingston puts fibre at the centre of the group — Openreach, the group's wholesale infrastructure arm that is rolling out the UK's FTTN network, produced £605 million of EBITDA, which accounts for 42 percent of the group's overall EBITDA.

Openreach has now passed 16 million premises with its fibre rollout, with more than 1.7 million premises choosing to be connected to the network.

"We achieved 265,000 net fibre connections, an increase of 56 percent," the results stated.

"Other service providers are now more engaged in marketing and selling fibre, and their net additions in the quarter have more than trebled."

Openreach picked up more contacts for rural broadband in the UK, bringing the company's total number of contracts to 29. The rural broadband programme has not been without criticism; a recent report by the UK National Audit Office detailed a £207 million cost blowout and a delay in the final target of two years. BT has received £1.2 billion in subsidies set aside for the rural rollout.

Of the 1.7 million fibre customers in the UK, approximately 1.5 million of them are customers of BT Retail. The retail arm of the group posted revenue of £1.797 billion and £496 million EBITDA — growth of 3 percent year on year for both measures.

BT Retail reported that more than 500,000 households had subscribed to its new BT Sport services, and that most of these customers had re-contracted their broadband service in the process.

BT Sport is due to launch on August 1.

Topics: BT, Fiber, Telcos, NBN


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • British "Fibre" ain't fibre!

    All the British Telco’s are using deceptive and dishonest marketing tactics, selling a copper VDSL connection and branding it as “Fibre”, in Australia this would clearly lead to prosecution.
    It’s a part of the Government and Telco's deceiving the public into believing they are getting “state of the art fibre connections”.
    The BT website is clearly engaged in large scale deception promoting it's services as "Fibre" when it's VDSL 2 pair copper to the home.
    If Government and Telco's are engaging in this strategy, the question needs to be asked "WHY ?" , why isn't the product marketed under it's correct description as VDSL?
    Kevin Cobley
    • In Australia they'd still be waiting;-)

      Openreach started their FTTN rollout in 2009, a couple do months before NBNCo was formed. Since then they've passed 16m premises, NBNCo 200k (55k can't order any services for upto 18 mths). The private sector funded project is on budget and schedule.

      Issues raised by the ag with the regional program are separate, a govt program.

      UK citizens are using high speed broadband with little taxpayers money, Australians nothing but spin and massive debt.

      Action speaks loader than words (particularly uncle Kev's).
      Richard Flude
      • Nice spin there Fuddy

        "Openreach started their FTTN rollout in 2009, a couple do months before NBNCo was formed. Since then they've passed 16m premises, NBNCo 200k (55k can't order any services for upto 18 mths). The private sector funded project is on budget and schedule."
        And the full rollout for NBN started in 2011. Before 2009 BT were doing trials, as was NBNCo before 2011. Also, passed for Openreach means they have put a cabinet to service an area. They do not cut or connect the copper until the customer orders a FTTC service, completely different to the FTTN proposed here. It does not retain to copper to the exchange from the node. The project has had many many many delays. Do you even do any fact checking before spewing your biased rubbush? BTW, last time I saw, it was the private sector that was behind in the NBN rollout. Or is it acceptable to blame the guy who pays the money for the guy who is meant to be doing the job, said they could do the job, the private sector, fails?
        "UK citizens are using high speed broadband with little taxpayers money"
        The private sector didn't fail in the US. Here, 20 years of nothing.
        "Australians nothing but spin and massive debt."
        I agree, the massive debt is spin. We have virtually no debt compared to nearly every country in the world. Keep pushing the message your Coalition master tell you though.
        What an old fluddy dud you are.
        "Action speaks loader than words (particularly uncle Kev's)."
        Very true, I here your hero Abbott, is a man of action. Nothing like a bit of biffo to win an argument.
        • Actually

          NBNCo's premises passed use to mean ready for service. You then order from your RSP. No it includes premise where you can't even order a service.

          Oh, they don't cut the copper under openreach anyway.

          NBNCo's model was to sun-contract the works. This is failing because if the reasons claimed from the beginning it would.

          Debt is Australia is low that's to it's low starting base. 0-$300b in two Labor terms, with very little to show for it. The NBNCo debt is off-budget. Deficits as far into the future if labor is re-elected, the promised surpluses now a cruel joke.

          Good work;-)

          Still waiting for support for your interviewed me claim.
          Richard Flude
          • Actually Richard.

            As you pointed out B.T does not cut the cable.
            So their passed is in actual fact when they install a FTTC cabinet that is capable of serving 300 Customers. That is classed as 300 customers passed regardless if a single customer connects.
            You may wish to read the comments and follow the links on
            Abel Adamski
          • Why would I

            My post is correct, the definition of passed even higher for BT now NBNCo has dropped their ready for service definition.

            Fanboys over at delimiter have little to offer, even Renai is sick of them.
            Richard Flude
          • BT On Time and On Budget

            "private sector funded project is on budget and schedule."

            Ahhh even in the article let alone the many articles on this site and elsewhere have highlighted its half a billion over budget and two years behind.

            I'm open to debate and discussion around the NBN but I wont spew biased political rubbish over and over again despite mountains of evidence provided by others.

            Who pays your bills Richard because either you can read or you're quite clearly on a crusade to deceive.

            My other comment you haven't addressed, WHY HASNT THE COALITIONS PLAN BEEN INDEPENDENTLY COSTED?? Everyone know the answer, but I'll give you a tip, first it was 10b then 15b then 20b now 29.5b..... If I was one of your managers and I told you something would cost around 10 to 29.4 billion you'd think my numbers were...... "INSERT YOUR COMMENT HERE"
          • Should be easy to quote a single source

            That openreach is delayed and over budget (it isn't). Sorry if you cant read and you'reconfusing the regional program (govt); strangely accusing others.

            Lost on your coalition arguement.
            Richard Flude
          • Let me clarify

            If you are the same Richard who works for Beonic Pty Ltd my question is simple, picture this scenario: Hey Richard can we by a new data centre, it'll cost about 10 to 29.4 billion. How much time would you think I spent on actually costing the new data centre?

            If it helps to think in terms of your people traffic counting solutions please replace my last scenario with the following.

            Hey Richard I just did the quote for the new Bunnings traffic counting system, I've told them it will cost 10 to 29.4billion. How much time would you think I spent on actually costing the new system for Beonic's response to Bunnings RFQ?

            I also think your not Richard but someone who is a strong Liberal supporter trying to cloud the issue here. There are valid discussions we could be having around the NBN but instead most people spend their time reading your drivel and thinking WTF. I use to be someone who read their comments thinking... shish these guys are harsh.... but now I get it.

            Your like an Athiest who has just found himself standing at the afterlife closing his eyes and saying voer and over "out hes
          • Finsihing the story

  • Really confused here - why is this not UK News?

    I have been subscribing to the UK News section of ZDNet, in the (obviously misplaced) expectation that I would get all my UK based news from it. I looked today on the main site because I had not found anything about the Ubuntu Edge, which has its main offices in the UK. Now I find that you have a news article on the main site about BT Fibre roll-out (WHICH IS UK ONLY).

    Anyway, as a FTTC BT subscriber, I'm glad its use is expanding. Now all we need is for servers feeding us the web sites to improve their capacity to handle the faster download speed possible with FTTC.
    • Not surprised your confused

      It's in the Australian section, because our Opposition government want to copy the system used in the UK.
  • What about Virgin Media?

    How does BT dominate UK fibre subscriptions with 1.7 million connections when Virgin Media has over 4 million?