Broadband growth prompts Carphone Warehouse to consider its own fibre network

Carphone Warehouse, the UK's second largest broadband supplier, may build its...

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Carphone Warehouse, the UK's second largest broadband supplier, may build its optical fibre network capacity following a possible re-regulation of BT's communications infrastructure in the wake of the government's Digital Britain industrial policy.

Carphone Warehouse CEO Charles Dunstone said a "huge number of discussions" were taking place with political parties, regulators and network suppliers.

Dunstone was speaking at the update of Carphone Warehouse's trading results for its fiscal third quarter 2009.

Strong growth in sales of smartphones and earlier cost-cutting measures had produced robust results, he said. "We think we have gained share in a flat market." Dunstone is confident that all sectors of the business are well-placed to grow, provided the rest of the economy performs reasonably.

The group consists of Carphone Warehouse, which retails and distributes mobile phones and portable computers through more than 2,400 stores in nine countries, and TalkTalk, a fixed line business with more than 4.1 million broadband customers and in excess of 1.1 million voice-only and narrowband customers.

Dunstone did not disclose figures for the group overall, but said TalkTalk sales were up 29% on the previous quarter to £446m, an 18% increase on the year to date, and reported a net increase of 36,000 broadband customers.

The average revenue per user was up 3% to £23.80, he said, mainly as a result of the switch to smartphones and the poor weather, which saw many customers making more extensive use of their mobile phone to do business.



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