Easynet benefits from faster broadband

The alternative telco has reported a big leap in its income from users of its faster broadband services, made available through unbundling

Easynet's latest set of financial results suggest there is growing corporate demand for faster broadband services.

The telecoms operator -- one of the few still persevering with local-loop unbundling (LLU) in Britain -- said on Thursday that average customer revenue from its own faster broadband services was up over 25 percent in 2003.

Nearly 4,000 firms have now signed up for Easynet's faster services. The demand is a reward for Easynet's efforts to drive unbundling, or competition at the level of network infrastructure. On unbundled exchanges, Easynet is able to offer services many times faster than anything available from BT Wholesale, but currently these exchanges are only located in some metropolitan areas. Around 150 ISPs resell BT's services.

"By the end of 2003 Easynet had connected 3,967 business customers through its local loops with an ARPU [average annualised revenue per customer] in our exchange areas that rose from £1,800 at the end of 2002 to £2,474 by the end of 2003," explained Easynet, in its preliminary financial results for the 12 months to 31 December 2003.

This jump in revenue per customer is due to the fact that more firms are signing up for its top-end unbundled packages, which are now available in several UK cities.

"The main driver is a change in the mix," a company spokesperson told ZDNet UK News, explaining that take-up of products such as Easynet's four- and eight-megabit-per-second (Mbps) services increased in the last 12 months.

Easynet also said that it is still committed to installing its equipment in more of BT's local telephone exchanges this year, and hopes to take the number of exchanges it has unbundled to around 230 by the end of 2004.