BT accelerates fibre rollout once more

UK incumbent BT revealed in its quarterly results Thursday, that it is again accelerating its fibre rollout, and now expects fibre to be available to two-thirds of UK premises during spring 2014, more than 18 months ahead of the original schedule.

Its fibre footprint continued to expand in the third quarter of this year, passing 12 million premises with over 950,000 now connected and growing strongly.

BT added 81,000 retail broadband customers in the quarter, representing 47 per cent of the UK broadband market’s net additions of 174,000. It added around 160,000 retail fibre broadband customers and the retail fibre customer base is now more than 875,000.

The telco also passed three-quarters of a million subscribers for its IPTV service ‘BT Vision’ after adding 21,000 customers in the third quarter of this year, and is looking forward to greater gains after signing new sports broadcasting rights in the period.

Chief executive Ian Livingston commented that pre-tax profits across the business grew again in the quarter, despite the economic conditions and the impact of a Court of Appeals ruling on so-called ‘ladder pricing’ related to wholesale calls made from mobile phones terminating on BT’s network.

Total revenues across all operations for the third quarter of this year reached £4.474bn ($7.23bn), down nine per cent from one year previously, while pre-tax profits rose seven per cent by the same basis to reach £608m.

“We have delivered another solid quarter of growth in profit before tax despite the economic conditions and regulatory impacts,” said CEO Ian Livingston. “We continue to make significant investments in the future of our business and we are again accelerating our fibre roll-out.”

He added that BT now expects fibre to be available to two-thirds of UK premises during spring 2014, 18 months ahead of its original schedule.

“We are recruiting more than 1,000 engineers in 2012 to help deliver this,” he added.

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