Bell Aliant's IPTV service continues to be a major growth engine as Q3 revenue grew 56 percent year-over-year to $11.5 million with the addition of 19,300 new FibreOP TV customers.
At the end of the quarter it reached a total of 142,100 FibreOP IPTV customers, part of which were those subscribers that migrated from its fiber to the node (FTTN) TV service to a fiber to the home (FTTH) platform. Total IPTV customers reached 163,300 at the end of September 2013.
On the FTTH expansion front, Bell Aliant passed an additional 45,000 premises with FTTH, down from 47,000 in Q3 2012. This brought FTTH coverage to 770,000 premises at the end of September.
One area that benefitted from its ongoing FTTH drive was Newfoundland. Bell Aliant spent $11.6 million to bring FibreOP to additional homes and businesses in that community.
The service provider said that capital expenditure pressures from higher FibreOP "customer connections in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012 were offset by improved installation efficiencies."
Overall Internet revenue rose 4.8 percent, or $5.75 million, with resident high-speed Internet average revenue per customer (ARPC) up 3.4 percent from the same period a year ago. It said the increase in high-speed Internet ARPC was due to "selected pricing action and customer demand for higher bandwidth bundles and other services, offset by increased promotional pricing."
During the quarter, the telco added 19,300 net new FibreOP customers, bringing total FibreOP Internet customers to 166,000 at the end of September. While the existing Bell Aliant FTTN and DSL customers that migrated to FibreOP don't contribute to overall high-speed broadband customer growth, they do contribute to improved customer retention and growth in overall customer ARPC.
"The progress we are continuing to make with our fiber-to-the-home strategy is a significant contributor to our improved customer activation results," said Karen Sheriff, president and CEO of Bell Aliant, in the earnings release. "We continue to gain confidence that our FTTH strategy is the right one to return us to growth.
Overall net high-speed Internet customer additions were 11,600 in the third quarter of 2013, up from 7,500 in the same quarter of 2012, bringing total high-speed Internet customers to 944,900.
As expected, the company reported that legacy local and long-distance voice revenues declined again. Driven by a 5.7 percent decline in Network Access Services (NAS), local service and long distance revenues declined $16.3 million (5.6 percent) and $9.5 million (11.5 percent), respectively.
While the service provider has forecast that Q4 year-over-year results are "expected to be softer than previous quarters," it has maintained its 2013 revenue guidance of $2.62 to $2.68 million.
Shares of Bell Aliant were listed $26.41, down 35 cents, or 1.31 percent, at the end of trading on the Toronto stock exchange.
- see the earnings release
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