Broadband rush continues at Carphone

UK retailer and broadband player Carphone Warehouse today reported that it had 596,000 broadband customers as July 26, including 476,000 applications for its “free” broadband service.

Charles Dunstone, chief executive officer of the company said that the rate of sign-up to the “free” broadband offering has been consistent over the last seven weeks and of the 476,000 applicants, 402,000 are live for calls and line rental and 247,000 are live on broadband as well.

The company has to date unbundled 303 exchanges, with a further 215 exchanges handed over by BT Openreach. During July, Carphone Warehouse began to test the process for putting new customers onto unbundled lines, and expects to accelerate the rate of connection over the summer and begin bulk migration of wholesale customers in September.

Dunstone, which last month admitted that the company had been struggling to meet demand for its new broadband service, said that call centre recruitment has accelerated to meet the additional demand. The average connection time for customers is now understood to have dropped from around ten weeks to seven or eight weeks.

Revenues at the company’s service provider division leapt 63 per cent year on year to £375m in the quarter to end June 30, while revenues at its distribution business increased 28 per cent to take group revenues to £857.6m, an increase of 42 per cent year on year.

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