Eircom reports fibre uptake outpaced ordinary broadband in Q2

27 Feb 2015

Eircom has reported broadband connections were up 8pc to 748,000 in the second quarter, including 30,000 new fibre customers. It said 19pc of premises are now passed by fibre and it now has 202,000 fibre customers.

Last September Eircom surpassed the 1m milestone for premises passed by fibre and that figure now stands at 1.1m. Direct fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) has commenced in 16 towns.

The operator reported a 4pc fall in second quarter revenue of €316m. Eircom reported second quarter EBITDA of €112m, down 3pc year on year but in line with expectations.

Indications are that fibre momentum is outpacing demand for standard copper-based broadband. Eircom reported 17,000 broadband connections in the quarter, up 8pc.

However, it reported 202,000 fibre customers, up 30,000 during the quarter.

The operator reported continued traction for its TV service with 32,000 TV customers after 4,000 were added in the second quarter, and representing 25pc penetration of its existing consumer fibre base. Yesterday the company added a number of new sports channels, including Sky Sports.

On a mobile front Eircom now has over 210,000 4G customers. During the quarter it added 19,000 postpay and 6,000 prepay customers.

Fixed line business stabilising

“The fixed line business is stabilising and the mobile business continues to perform well, with three consecutive quarters of revenue growth,” said CEO Richard Moat.

“A strong Christmas trading performance resulted in the first quarterly growth in the prepay base in over two years.

“We continue to evolve our TV offering and have recently added Sky Sports 3, 4 and 5 to our proposition. We remain the only player that can offer quad-play bundles in the market and we now have 20pc of our consumer base on TV/mobile bundles.

“The rollout of our NGA network, which underpins our bundling capability, continues at pace. We now have passed 1.1 million premises and have already connected one in five of these with high speed broadband. Work on our commercial fibre to the home (FTTH) rollout is also underway in 16 towns and we have trialled speeds of up to 1Gb/s using our FTTH solution.”

Eircom recently began a recruitment campaign for 375 apprentices and graduates and Moat said the operator was overwhelmed by the response so far.

“To date, we have received over 3,000 applications. This is the first large scale sustained recruitment announced by the Group in almost 30 years with 60 apprentices and 15 graduates to join the Group in each of the coming five years,” Moat said.

Rural broadband image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years