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Surge in fibre broadband users leads to BT windfall

Over 20m properties can now benefit from its superfast networks.

By Vinod

BT has hailed the progress of fibre optic broadband as a key factor behind the company’s latest strong financial results, revealing that up to 70,000 properties are signing up to the network each week.

The company said that over 20 million properties throughout the UK are now able to access its Openreach broadband service, although only 15% of these have so far registered for the superfast networks.

Overall, the company said, three million homes and business have signed up to its fibre optic network, 2.3m with BT, and the remainder with other broadband providers which use its network, including TalkTalk and Sky.

In the company’s annual operating results, released today, BT said it had added 341,000 premises to the fibre-optic broadband network over the previous quarter (ending 30 June 2014), a 29% increase on the year before.

BT has also added 104,000 broadband customers in the quarter, a 64% share of the overall broadband market growth in the quarter, and an increase which helped its consumer division see a 10% rise in revenues.

"We have made a good start to the year," BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said. "Our fibre broadband network now covers more than twenty million premises. We are passing over 70,000 additional premises each week and demand is strong."

Patterson also highlighted that BT has announced a further 2,500 new jobs in recent months to support the company’s investments in fibre and customer service, following new rules from Ofcom which state that any customer complaints must be dealt with quickly.

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He also mentioned the company’s newly-announced BT One Phone package, a cloud-based mobile offering for businesses which it says will help cut costs and provide better and more reliable calls for SMEs.

BT announced a 0.5% increase in revenues, totalling £4.4bn, with core earnings staying stable compared to previous results at £1.4bn, both of which were in line with forecasts.

"We are building on solid foundations and I am confident we will deliver on our strategy," Patterson said.


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