BT has announced that its Openreach fibre broadband network has now passed 20 million properties, as its network rollout continues apace. However, only a fraction – three million – are using this network as yet.
BT revealed the numbers as part of its quarterly profits, which showed a two percent decrease in revenue to £4.4bn, although its profits were up by seven percent to £638m.
This profit growth was driven by strong broadband uptake, which saw its Openreach division add 163,000 new customers, on either copper or fibre connections
Meanwhile, 341,000 customers joined the Openreach fibre network. The majority of these were existing customer upgrades from its copper network. This means three million customers are now on fibre, around 15 percent of its total access base, which, as noted, has passed 20 million.
Of these three million fibre users, 2.3 million are on the BT Retail service, with the rest split between rival internet providers such as Sky and TalkTalk.
BT chief executive Gavin Patterson touted the rapid rollout of fibre access as a key part of BT’s future, as well as a job drive around this. “We are passing over 70,000 additional premises each week and demand is strong with more than three million already signed up. We have announced a further 2,500 new jobs in recent months to support our strategic investments in fibre and customer service,” he said.
The recent launch of the BT One Phone service was also mentioned by Patterson as another key strategy for BT, and he hinted at more mobile plans – likely a 4G network offering through EE – would be unveiled later this year.
“I’m excited by the launch of BT One Phone for the business market as well as our other mobility plans. We’ll say more on these later this financial year.”
Last week BT completed a major part of one of its more challenging broadband rollouts by bringing a fibre cable ashore to the Isles of Scilly.
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