Growth in sales of broadband connections, which surged in recent years, has peaked and is now slowing rapidly, according to figures released by the UK’s leading broadband providers.
Carphone Warehouse yesterday said it had missed its fixed line revenue growth targets, adding just 41,000 broadband customers in its first quarter, compared to earlier forecasts of 70,000.
It also cut its forecast for the rest of the year, warning that the downturn in the housing market – which means that less people are moving house – would impact on sales of fixed lines. It now expects to add 200,000 to 250,000 new customers this year, compared to forecasts of 400,000.
Carphone said the mobile side of its business, which has been buoyed by the launch of the iPhone, was holding up well but warned that it would not be immune to the downturn in consumer spending.
Meanwhile, Orange UK – whose parent company France Telecom also released results yesterday – said that it had lost 44,000 broadband customers in the last quarter.
Profits at the group were down 19 per cent as higher taxes wiped out earnings growth. BT added 103,000 new customers in the last three months, well below the 150,000 and 126,000 new subscribers in the previous two quarters
BSkyB managed to beat analyst’s expectations by adding 200,000 new customers, but this is still the lowest number of quarterly sign-ups it has recorded since it made a play for the broadband market.