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Record number of fibre broadband customers join BT Openreach network

Thursday, May 7th 2015 by Dean Reilly

BT has announced its best ever quarter for customers connecting to the Openreach fibre network.

During the first three months of 2015, approximately 455,000 customers joined Openreach, BT's local network business.

The growth in customer numbers was revealed today as BT published its financial results for the fourth quarter and year to 31 March 2015.

This increase marks a 21% rise from the previous three months, when 375,000 new customers connected to Openreach.

Year-on-year figures also reveal strong growth for the provider, with 31% more customers getting connected compared to the same period in 2014.

BT reported that the Openreach fibre network is now available to more than 22m homes and businesses across the United Kingdom. This equates to more than three quarters of all UK premises.

Other highlights from the BT financial report include the news that 851,000 new premises signed up for broadband services (both copper and fibre) via the Openreach network this year.

Of that number, 248,000 – almost 30% – made the connection in the first three months of 2015.

As a result, the total Openreach broadband customer base, including all internet service providers that use the network to deliver broadband connectivity, reached 19.3m.

Landline growth also contributed to a record-breaking year for BT. The total number of UK landlines also grew by 76,000 in first three months of 2015, and rose by 215,000 over the year. This marks the best annual performance on record for landline growth.

'Faster speeds'

BT credited the increase in landlines to a healthy market for new homes, along with customers reconnecting to fixed broadband services.

Commenting that the results showed a “ground-breaking year for BT”, chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “Our superfast broadband network now passes more than three-quarters of the UK and we’ve announced plans to upgrade to ultrafast.

"This will be another multi-year investment by Openreach and is the right thing for both BT and the UK, providing even faster speeds in an already competitive market.

“We delivered our best ever performance for fibre connections in the fourth quarter with Openreach adding almost half a million premises to our network. Our retail business delivered a record-breaking 266,000 of these connections.”

He concluded: "We will continue to deliver on our investments and improve the service we provide to our customers."

On Tuesday, Cable.co.uk reported how BT announced the launch of a new home smartphone which could make the home phone and landline “central to family life again”.

The touchscreen Home SmartPhone SII provides access to the Google Play app store, as promises to block up to 80% of nuisance calls.

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