top of page
  • Writer's pictureVeronica Speiser

Research Round-up August 2023

UK ISP and Network Suppliers Market Analysis Q2 23; UK telecoms sector updates; ISP news; government and Ofcom updates


Point Topic’s key publication of the month:


UK Fixed line broadband market sees losses as FTTP tries to pick up the slack

Analysis of Q2 2023 UK ISP metrics


In summary

  • Total Q2 2023 FTTH/P/B, FTTC, cable, FWA/satellite, and DSL wholesale connections decreased during the quarter and stood at an estimated 29.07m down from 29.20m q-o-q and only up slightly from 29.02m y-o-y; retail consumer and business connections declined to an estimated 28.99m from 29.05m q-o-q up slightly from 28.63m at the close of Q2 2022.

  • The fixed broadband retail market slowdown resulted in a loss of c.64k net broadband subscribers with y-o-y uptake growth falling to a modest 1.2%.

  • Openreach’s FTTP connections base has grown by 383k q-o-q and reached 3.50m up from 3.12m.

  • Virgin Media O2’s (VMO2s) fixed segment showed a reduction in its subscriber base with losses of ~15k in Q2 compared to 29k additions in Q1 bringing its broadband customer base to 5.66m.

  • CityFibre’s (CF’s) nationwide full fibre network reached 3m premises in August, with more than 2.6m ‘ready for service’ to ISPs; we estimate CF to have around 245k connections at the close of Q2 2023.

  • AltNet operators FTTx (predominantly FTTH/P/B) ISPs subscriber numbers are slowly on the rise; we estimate the total number to be around 1.53m at the close of Q2 2023.

Retail and business connections continue to decline

The second quarter of 2023 saw a significant reduction in overall fixed broadband subscribers with a loss of ~64k, bringing the total to 28.991m (Figure 1). This downward trend will continue over the next several quarters as consumers continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis and in some cases make the switch to mobile broadband only.


Figure 1: UK consumer and business broadband market statistics Q1 2022 – Q1 2023 Source: Company reports where available/Point Topic estimates
Figure 1: UK consumer and business broadband market statistics Q1 2022 – Q1 2023 Source: Company reports where available/Point Topic estimates

Wholesale connections remain static in challenging conditions

At the close of the quarter, we estimate wholesale connections to have reached 29.078m, down from 29.204m. Similar to the retail sector, growth has been marginal over the past several quarters. As reported above Openreach’s continued loss of connections due to dual technology copper to fibre switchover, wholesale connections will continue to see little to minimal growth for the rest of the year.


Overall net broadband connections reduced by -0.4% q-o-q and grew a meagre 0.1% y-o-y. DSL lines are on the wane and dipped to 2.423m during the quarter down from 2.654m during the previous quarter. FTTC connections decreased to 15.409m compared to 15.690m in Q1 and 16.406m the previous year. FTTP lines are progressing and have risen to around 5.090m up from 4.694m and up from 3.402m at the close of Q2 2022 (Figure 2 below).


Figure 2: Wholesale connections by technology Q2 2022 – Q2 2023 Source: Company reports where available/Point Topic estimates
Figure 2: Wholesale connections by technology Q2 2022 – Q2 2023 Source: Company reports where available/Point Topic estimates

Read the complete article in our free analysis here.


BDUK Project Gigabit Update

Building Digital UK - Environmental Resource Guide August 2023

Published on 8 August, the environmental resource guide seeks to support the rollout of digital infrastructure in England, by providing greater awareness of climate adaptation, environmental improvements (biodiversity gains), and low carbon considerations. The guide is based on England jurisdiction, but has direct relevance across devolved administrations too.

Other key telecom sector news items from the month can be found below.



BT Group News

Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) News

CityFibre (CF) News

Independent Operators (AltNets) News

Other News


If you are a subscriber to UK Plus, sign-in here to access our UK Plus content where you can view our updated Q3 2023 profiles of the UK’s leading internet service providers, as well as our annual overview of the country’s broadband market.


Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about UK Plus or particular publications.

bottom of page