Ofcom Finds UK Fixed Line Broadband ISP Connections Reach 22.6 Million - ISPreview UK
The communication regulatorís final Telecoms Market Data Tables update for last year has revealed that the United Kingdom ended 2013 with a total of 22,577,000 fixed line residential and small business broadband ISP connections (excludes corporate lines), which is up by +941,000 (4.3%) in the year as ADSLís existing market share declines.

Ofcomís latest update was released quietly (we came across it by accident) and comes after the regulator appeared to skip publishing a full report for the Q3 Ė 2013 period. Never the less the overall trends havenít changed much, with non-unbundled based ADSL broadband ISP lines continuing a sharp decline in favour of a switch to unbundled (LLU) providers like Sky Broadband and TalkTalk.

Meanwhile non-LLU ADSL users, specifically those who havenít switched to an equivalent unbundled ISP, have instead been busy adopting fibre optic based superfast broadband lines (e.g. BTís FTTC/P services), which over the past 12 months have more than doubled to total 2.36 million. Cable lines (e.g. Virgin Media) have also continued a fairly slow but steady rise.

The fact that BTís consumer division dominates the uptake of 40-80Mbps capable FTTC lines has also helped to improve their market share by around +1% in the past year (total 30.7%). Ofcom might eventually move to improve competition for superfast broadband products and if that happens then we could see a slowing of BTís market share, although rivals are also improving their adoption (example).

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Elsewhere the report reveals that there are now a total of 33.4 million fixed phone lines in the UK at the end of Q4 2013, which is +186,000 (0.6%) more than a year previously and +194,000 (0.6%) up on the previous quarter. Interestingly BTís share fell from 14,504,000 in 2012 to 13,745,000 in Q4 2013 as rival providers picked up the slack. Meanwhile overall fixed telephony services generated £2.1bn in retail revenues during Q4 2013, which is broadly steady from the previous quarterly report but down by 1.5% on 2012′s figure.

On the flipside the number of active mobile subscribers fell by 350,000 (0.4%) to 83.1 million in the year to Q4 2013, while estimated retail revenues generated by mobile telephony services fell by £95m (-2.4%) to £3.9bn in the year; but they have also recently increased by £92m (+2.4%) from the previous quarter (Q3).