Telfort VDSL customers least interested in fibre, KPN customers do want to switch

Friday 5 January 2018 | 10:41 CET | Background

VDSL customers at Telfort are the least interested on the Dutch market in switching to fibre broadband. Over a third (36%) of Telfort customers said they aren't interested in fibre, compared to just 17 percent of KPN's VDSL customers and 29 percent of Ziggo customers, according to the latest research by Telecompaper Consumer Insights

The results are from an annual survey by Telecompaper on interest in fibre services. Other findings include over a quarter of cable broadband customers (28%) are interested in fibre, but don't have fibre available in their area. Furthermore, a small, but growing group of fibre customers is considering a switch to cable broadband. Those most interested in a switch to fibre are KPN customers, at 11 percent of its broadband base. 

Looking per technology, interest in a switch to fibre is higher among current VDSL subscribers than cable users. However, many VDSL users say they still can't access FTTH in their area. In total, 44 percent of VDSL subscribers say they are interested in fibre, compared to 39 percent of cable customers. 

11% to switch to fibre in coming year

Just over one in ten (11%) respondents said they already plan to switch to fibre broadband in the coming year. Eight percent are committed to the switch, while 3 percent are signed up in a demand aggregation campaign for rolling out fibre in their area. The latter remain dependent on the roll-out actually going ahead.

The share of consumers saying the have no interest in fibre has fallen over the years, from 36 percent in 2015 to 34 percent in 2016 and just 26 percent in 2017. At the same time, those responding 'don't know' increased, to 37 percent in 2017 from 28 percent the previous year. 

Telecompaper also asked respondents who already have fibre broadband whether they would change anything about it when the subscription expires, and a growing number are interested in a change. 

Around half said they would not change anything (52%), down from 63 percent the previous year. Six percent said they would keep the same provider, but take a different package or speed. 

The steady increase in the share of fibre customers who are considering a change is notable. In the previous three years, this was less than 30 percent of the total, whereas in 2017 the share rose above 35 percent. 

Fibre market consolidation

Notable also is the shrinking number of fibre customers who want to remain on fibre, but change ISP. This has fallen from 9 percent in 2016 to 5 percent in 2016 and just 3 percent in the latest survey. This may be due to the declining number of ISPs on fibre networks. In 2017, M7 Group acquired the fibre providers Fiber and Stipte, and KPN bought Solcon. KPN also stopped using the Lijbrandt name and is transitioning out the OnsBrabantNet and ON brands to KPN. The consolidation will continue with the planned merger of T-Mobile and Tele2.

Slight increase in switch from fibre to cable

While the percentages are still small, we do see a growing interest among fibre customers in a switch to cable. In 2013 and 2014, there was zero interest among fibre subscribers to switch to cable. In 2015 and 2016, the figure was 1 percent of subscribers, and in 2017, this increased to 2 percent. 

The increase may be due to the ongoing content battle between KPN and Ziggo. Cable operator Ziggo holds important sports rights, such as Formula 1, as well as the exclusive rights to HBO content. This could be driving more fibre customers to consider a switch to cable. 

This research is based on the Telecompaper Consumer Insights Panel and surveys conducted between June 2013 and July 2017. Panel participants are aged 12-80, and results are stratified according to age, gender and education. For more information about research opportunities with the panel, please contact research@telecompaper.com.

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