Bell Aliant makes FTTH strides in Q1, slims down access line loss

Bell Aliant's (Toronto: BA-UN.TO) ongoing bet on providing IP-based services over a Fiber to the Home (FTTH)-based network continue to pay off as the service provider reported CAD 84 million (USD 86.7 million) in net earnings.

As expected, Bell Aliant's Regional Communications Inc. (Bell Aliant GP) unit did see obvious ongoing losses in both local and long distance voice revenues of 1 percent. However, the growth in broadband and IPTV revenue offset its access line losses.

After several quarters of year-over-year declines in its Atlantic Canada region, residential revenues rose about 3 percent in Q1 2011 from Q1 2010.

Here's a breakdown of key company metrics:

  • Access Line Loss: Due to strong bundling performance and customer retention programs that were fueled by ongoing expansion of its FibreOP FTTH-based Internet TV service in Atlantic Canada, Bell Aliant narrowed its Net network access service (NAS) declines to 33,000, down from 39,000 in 2010. Local and long distance voice revenues were down 4 percent to CAD $13 million (USD 13.4 million) and 2.7 percent to CAD 3 million (USD 3.09 million), respectively.
  • Broadband Access: Bell Aliant's Internet revenue was up 7 percent to CAD 8 million (USD 8.26 million) over Q1 2010. As Bell Aliant expanded the availability of FibreOP services in Q1, the service provider reported that residential high speed average revenue per customer (ARPC) grew 4.8 percent while high-speed Internet customers grew by 3.8 percent from Q1 2010.
  • Video Services: The ongoing rollout of FibreOP services to 40,000 additional homes in Q1 2011 drove the majority of growth of Bell Aliant's IPTV net customer additions and revenue. In Q1 2011, Bell Aliant's IPTV revenue reached CAD 9 million (USD 9.29 million) with a total of 54,000 IPTV customers at the end of March 2011.

With FTTH being an ongoing strategic focus for Bell Aliant, the service provider increased its capex spending in Q1 26.7 percent, of CAD 25 million (USD 25.8 million).  

And has been the case in previous quarters, Bell Aliant plans to increase capex spending throughout the rest of 2011 as it executes on its plan to pass over 600,000 homes and businesses with FibreOP services by the end of 2012.

For more:
- see the earnings release

Special Report: Wireline in the first quarter of 2011

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