UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q3 2019: Darkest before dawn

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UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q3 2019: Darkest before dawn

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UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q3 2019: Darkest before dawn
Market revenue growth fell in Q3 to below 1%, and may drop below zero next quarter as existing customer pricing comes under more pressure
New customer pricing is however rising, and average pricing should rise much further as ultrafast increases in availability and popularity
Political enthusiasm for full fibre should be welcomed, although some specific plans are likely to do more harm than good if implemented literally


Executive summary: Darkest before dawn

Market trends and outlook

  • Broadband volumes hold up, but everything else slips
  • Market revenue growth slips, and will slip some more
  • TalkTalk’s growth drops, the rest are resilient
  • ARPU watch: resilience for most
  • New customer pricing: continued slow rise at the big brands
  • New customer pricing: discount brands as competitive as ever
  • An ultrafast boom ahead?
  • Election special
  • Existing customer pricing changes: mixed bag of boosts and drags
  • Q2 2019 trends: broadband growth negligible at the large players
  • High speed broadband continues to grow
  • Q2 2019 trends: telephony growth drops away
  • Q2 2019 trends: pay TV: Game of Thrones effect


  • Broadband subscribers
  • Consumer revenue
  • In/out-of-contract and existing/new customer pricing
  • Upcoming pricing regulation a threat
  • Wholesale price control and Openreach’s new discounted pricing
  • Subscriber and subscriber ARPU growth
  • Pricing outside the ‘big four’

List of charts/tables

Market net additions (000)

RGU and subscriber growth

RGU ARPU, volume and revenue growth

Subscriber ARPU, volume and revenue growth

Average RGU growth by operator

Consumer revenue growth by operator

Subscriber ARPU growth

RGU ARPU growth

Broadband entry level dual-play pricing, new customers (£/month)

Broadband high speed dual-play pricing, new customers (£/month)

Pricing outside the ‘top 4’ (£/month), lowest price available

Broadband pricing by speed tier (£/month)

Openreach ultrafast premises passed (%)

Existing customer price increase impact periods

Broadband organic net adds (000)

Broadband organic subscriber growth

High speed net adds (000)

High speed penetration of broadband bases

Line rental net additions (000)

Line rental subscriber growth

Pay TV net additions (000)

Pay TV subscriber growth

Unlimited entry level broadband, in/out-of-contract pricing (£/month)

Unlimited high-speed broadband, in/out-of-contract pricing (£/month)

Broadband self-reported contract status

Openreach wholesale pricing (£/month, excluding VAT)

Average subscriber growth by operator

Subscriber ARPU growth by operator

Unlimited broadband dual-play, new customer pricing (£/month)

Selected recent and planned price changes for existing customers

Selected recent price changes