BT Vision has attracted only 60,000 customers six months after the commercial launch of the national broadband video service. BT says this is “in line with our plans” although it falls far short of the hundreds of thousands of customers it was originally aiming for by the end of the year.
BT says further growth will come from the recent launch of its self-install option which does not require an engineer visit. Apparently, some 30,000 customers are waiting for their BT Vision box to be installed, so the number of homes could rise to 100,000 by the end of the year.
When BT Vision was launched to the media in December 2006, BT said it would be “initially connecting thousands of customers then hundreds of thousands by the end of 2007.” Optimistically, they continued: “BT aims to have two to three million BT Vision customers in the medium term.”
The medium term is rather vague, but at the present rate of growth of say, 5,000 customers a week, it would take over a decade to reach three million. That is of course without taking into account any customer churn.
Commenting on second quarter results, Ben Verwaayen, the chief executive of BT said: “We are achieving significant transformation of our business which will deliver further efficiencies alongside faster, better, smarter services for our customers.” The company is planning to shed thousands of managers to improve efficiency.
BT has 11.7 million wholesale broadband connections, including 3.2 million local loop unbundled lines. Its retail arm is the leading broadband provider in the country, with over 4 million customers. The number of customers that it has signed up to BT Vision therefore only represents a tiny percentage of the addressable market.