BT is now the UK’s most popular broadband retailer, it was revealed today, leapfrogging over the combined customer base of Virgin Media and NTL: Telewest Business into the No.1 position with more than 3.66 million broadband customers – a 26 per cent share of the overall broadband market.
In the quarter ending March 31, 2007, BT added another 245,000 customers in addition to the 195,000 customers gained through BT’s recent acquisition of PlusNet. BT had 32 per cent2 of new DSL customers, and 29 per cent of all new broadband customers during the last quarter.
Ian Livingston, CEO of BT Retail, welcomed the news: “I am delighted that we have regained the top slot as the nation’s favourite broadband retailer. Customers have shown what they clearly want: innovative products and services offering great value that are easy to use and deliver the exciting opportunities that broadband can provide.”
Aamir Baloch, director of broadband comparison and switching service firsthelpline.com commented: “Home broadband adoption shows no sign of slowing. The surge in the number of BT Broadband subscriber numbers to 3.6m shows there’s still a lot of room in the market, and competition is fierce amongst the large ISPs.”
“The downside of this increased competition is that the smaller players will inevitably be pushed out of the market. Big guys like BT use their vastly greater marketing budgets to crowd out the smaller players, and subsidise services at a lower cost by offering them bundled with something else – something the smaller single-service providers will struggle with.”
“This is a clear sign of what’s to come. At the moment, the competitive market continues to benefit the consumer. However, an inevitable surge in market consolidation will cause competition to dwindle and prices to stagnate.”
“Overall, BT has managed to take hold of the broadband market and retake its number one spot. By putting its money into new services such as the full-scale launch of BT Vision, and with Virgin Media still smarting from Sky’s pull-out, BT should be in a strong position to keep some of its customers loyal by picking off those not interested in taking out a long-term TV contract, but instead wanting to dip into additional multi-channel content when they want it.”