Bell Aliant Q1 revenue dips, but stays course with FTTH buildout

There's not a whole lot of surprises with Canadian service provider Bell Aliant's (TSX: BA.UN) Q1 2010 results. Mirroring similar trends seen by U.S.-based ILECs, Bell Aliant reported that consolidated revenue declined 4.9 percent year-on-year to $765 million.

What drove company revenues down in Q1 2010 were declines in its local and long-distance voice segments. Local service revenue declined $15 million, or 4.5 percent, in Q1 2010 due to Network Access Service (NAS) declines. Just the same, long-distance revenue declined $9 million, or 8.2 percent versus 2009 because of NAS declines customer movement to flat rate long distance pricing plans.

But one service area that Bell Aliant is confident about is fiber-based broadband access. As it previously announced in its Q4 2009 earnings results, the service provider is aggressively expanding its FibreOP Fiber to the Home (FTTH) footprint with plans to invest $350 million between 2011 and 2012. In that build out process, Bell Aliant hopes to reach over 600,000 homes and businesses with FTTH services by the end of 2012.

"Our competitive environment and the success we are having with our FibreOPTM Internet and TV service in New Brunswick make it clear to us that accelerating this technology rollout now is the right thing to do," said Karen Sheriff, president and chief executive officer of Bell Aliant in a release. "We believe FTTH will help us grow revenue, retain and gain customers, improve customer service, and reduce our future operating and capital costs; all of which are fundamental to our future success."

In related news, Bell Aliant also announced that it will transform itself from an income trust to a corporate structure in January 2011. By adopting a corporate structure, Bell Aliant believes it can not only reduce administrative costs, but also improve its potential investor base.

For more:
- see the release here
- TeleGeography has this article

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