HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA – Expansion of its FTTH business drove strong customer acquisition for Bell Aliant in Q1 2014, as reported in the company’s financial results.

“Our fiber-to-the-home expansion continued to demonstrate the strength of our strategy as we achieved another solid quarter of customer additions in the first quarter of 2014,” said Karen Sheriff, president and CEO, Bell Aliant. “We are continuing to expand our fiber-to-the-home coverage area and are growing our FibreOP penetration rate. We believe loading this network is the path to returning us to revenue growth, and that continues to be our focus.

“Our fiber-to-the-home technology makes us the communications provider of choice in many of our markets, and we believe provides our customers with the best technology available. We expect this, along with continued solid cost management, will ultimately lead us to growth in the future,” concluded Sheriff.

Continued FTTH Investment
“We have continued to invest aggressively in fiber-to-the-home and by the end of 2014, expect to pass 1 million premises with FTTH,” said Glen LeBlanc, executive vice-president and CFO, Bell Aliant. “Our success in our FibreOP markets is strengthening our company for the future. We plan to maintain our common share dividend throughout this period of network expansion and are pleased with the access to affordable capital that we have continued to enjoy.”

FiberOP Drives Internet Revenue Increase
Internet revenue increased $5 million (3.9 percent) driven by growth in high-speed Internet customers of 3.9 percent from a year ago. FibreOP Internet customers grew by 16,000 during the quarter, bringing total FibreOP Internet customers to approximately 200,000 at the end of March 2014. FibreOP Internet additions include existing Bell Aliant customers migrating from DSL and fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) networks to the upgraded service. These migrations do not contribute to overall high-speed customer growth but increasingly contribute to improved customer retention and growth in overall average revenue per customer (ARPC). Overall high-speed Internet customer net additions were 11,000 in the first quarter of 2014, up from 8,700 in the same quarter of 2013, bringing total high-speed Internet customers to 963,000 at the end of March 2014.

IPTV revenue grew $12 million (43.5 percent) in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter in 2013, with total IPTV customers of 189,800, up 38.3 percent from a year earlier. FibreOP TV customers grew by 13,400 in the first quarter to reach 171,400, a portion of which were migrations from Bell Aliant’s FTTN TV service. Overall net IPTV customer additions were 11,700 in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 14,300 a year earlier.