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British Telecom DSL clobbering cable
Friday, 24 February 2012 08:16
boltBT added 145K, Virgin cable 15K. British Telecom’s DSL aggressive marketing is essentially beating 50-100 megabit cable, especially in the 30% or so of the country upgraded to FTTN/DSL cabinets at “up to 40 megabits.” Virgin remains financially challenged and isn’t doing nearly as well as the cablecos in the U.S.
     Virgin covers about 50% of the country, including many lines where BT only offers 3-6 meg DSL. In the U.S., Verizon and AT&T are getting clobbered by cable in the one-third of their territory they haven’t upgraded. The effect is much smaller in Britain, and the upgraded (FTTN/DSL) BT is winning customers away from cable despite generally slower speeds. 
     Takeaway: Very few customers will pay much for speeds over 10 megabits, enough for 2 or 3 HD TV signals. In 2012, upgraded DSL/FTTN, which covers 1/3rd of the U.S. and a similar share of England, is doing fine against cable. Company strategy and marketing, not technology, determines who gets the customer. This is confirmed by how well Telus and AT&T U-Verse are doing against cable. 
     Results are mixed at other British DSL carriers. Talktalk - the old Carphone Warehouse - actually dropped 43K customers to 4.086M customers. They’ve added 300 exchanges to their network the last 6 months, but actually lost on-net customers. They’ve priced to chase away off-net customers from the 20% or so of the U.K. they don’t cover, losing 60,000 (15%) in the last quarter alone. Sky added 166K Q4 to 3.65M with very aggressive broadband pricing if you take their TV bundle. They added 645K over the year. They promise to offer “up to 40 megabits” to 30% of the UK next month via unbundling BT cabinets. 
     Virgin's fightback: commercials with world's fastest runner Adrian Bolt


Last Updated on Sunday, 26 February 2012 00:06