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Big ISP's Dominate UK Broadband
By: MarkJ - 01 July, 2006 (8:48 AM)

The latest Point Topic research has highlighted that 88% of the UK's broadband market is dominated by the largest 10 ISP's:

The Top Ten ISPs in the UK have over 88% of the UK broadband market - and the share is increasing. By the end of March 2006 they accounted for 9.5 million broadband lines out of a total market of 10.7 million. They added 900,000 lines and gained 1% market share in the first quarter of 2006. BT Retail was one of the main gainers.

These results come from the regular survey of ISP numbers and market shares by Point Topicís UK Plus service. The trend will concern Ofcom and others who would like to see wider competition in the broadband market. So far 2006 is seeing increased consolidation instead. It remains to be seen if increasing take-up of local-loop unbundling, and the entry of Carphone Warehouse and other providers of "free" broadband services will change the picture.

The Top Ten itself shows consolidation with a wide gap between Big Six (BT, NTL, AOL, Telewest , Tiscali, Wanadoo) each with around a million broadband lines or more, and the rest (see table and graphic). Three of the ĎTop Tení - NTL, Telewest and Virgin.net - are now brought together in one group as NTL:Telewest. This is clearly the biggest ISP of all if it is treated as one unit, with 3 million customers as against 2.5 million for BT.

The news will come as no surprise to our readers because ISPr has been doing its own Top 10 on the front page for several years now, which these results mirror (although we put NTL and Telewest together now + list Carphone Warehouse).


Note that one or two of the ISPís in our top 10 may have a higher number than Point Topicís, which is because some issued updated statistics in June.

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