BT off to a slow start with fibre broadband

BT’s new fibre broadband network now passes three million premises – but the company has only 38,000 customers using its BT Infinity service.

BT off to a slow start with fibre broadband

The latest figures from BT’s second quarter results shows BT has managed to convert only 1.3% of households where fibre is available, although BT claims to be taking more than 4,000 new orders a week.

We’re delighted we’re achieving nigh-on 5,000 orders a week on a footprint of three million

BT denies it’s got off to a slow start. “We’re delighted we’re achieving nigh-on 5,000 orders a week on a footprint of three million,” Liv Garfield, director of strategy, policy and portfolio told PC Pro.

She claimed the relatively small number of subscribers achieved in the first half of the year – when the company was only signing up a few hundred customers per week – were down to BT’s muted marketing message.

“People have to understand what high-speed access is first,” Garfield argued. “We’ve only really pressed the button [on television advertising] in the last month.”

Garfield said BT hadn’t set any public targets for BT Infinity subscribers, but insisted that “we’ve surpassed where we thought we would be internally, by some way”.

BT is, of course, only one of the ISPs offering fibre broadband on its network, with other providers able to provide fibre services on a wholesale basis.

Broadband boost

Overall, BT added 114,000 new broadband customers in the second quarter, giving it a 45% share of new additions in the entire broadband market.

The company’s internet television service, BT Vision, now has more than half a million customers. BT claims 50,000 of those have signed up for Sky Sports, which was added to the BT Vision service at the start of the new football season in August at heavily discounted prices.

The company claims further improvements are on the way for BT Vision, with HD and 3D video downloads available before Christmas, and the forthcoming addition of the BBC iPlayer to the service.

BT’s revenue for the second quarter fell slightly to almost £5 billion, although profit before tax rose by 13% to £496 million.

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