BT advertising war boosts UK broadband

Steve Dinneen
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FIERCE competition between Sky and BT is the most likely explanation for the unusually high growth in the UK broadband market last year, according to analysts at Enders.

It enjoyed an “exceptionally strong” final quarter of last year, adding 397,000 new customers, beating some forecasts by around 100,000.

Enders says the most likely cause is heavy marketing by BT Retail and Sky since the summer, with the bad weather in December and the return of some mobile-only households to broadband also playing a role.

Sky led the pack, with net adds of 204,000 in the third quarter, more than double year-on-year, to take its total broadband base over 3m. BT Retail added 188,000, up 84 per cent year-on-year, while Virgin Media added just 41,000, 35 per cent down year-on-year. Everything Everywhere lost 18,000 subscribers, while O2 added 8,000. There were about 19.6m fixed broadband lines in the UK at the end of 2010, with annual subscriber growth growing by seven per cent, up from 5.4 per cent in 2009.