ISP Review - MetroNet Interview

ISP Review interviews UK ISP MetroNet

MetroNet Interview
By Mark 'Winter' Jackson : Mar 8th-2005 : Page 1 of 2

"the last thing users want is to run out of allocated data allowance"

MetroNet is another small, yet well established, Internet service provider. The ISP has been in existence since 1996 and seen many industry changes, making it an ideal candidate for our Interview to balance big against little.

In an effort to better understand the market, we wanted to know how ISP’s themselves view issues such as SPAM, VoIP, future broadband and local loop unbundling (LLU) etc.

To do this we set out to interview a number of different providers, some distinguished by their choice of technology, others for their method of content delivery. MetroNet is the final in our series of five interviews:

1) Who are you and what do you do?

Paresh Morjaria, General Manager, MetroNet.

2) What is your ISP doing both now and in the future towards cutting down the amount of SPAM and e-mail viruses sent to customers?

Like most good ISPs we employ a variety of customer facing and non customer facing methods to tackle the problem of spam, viruses and other forms of email abuse.

3) Was 2004 a good year for your provider or a bad year and why?

2004 was a great year for nearly all Broadband providers and equally for us as the stir we created back in 2003 with our challenging pay-as-you-go Broadband product really took off having proved itself in the marketplace. ISPs who had initially brushed us (and PAYG Broadband) aside are only now really waking up to what we have been doing for the past 2 years.

That said not all Broadband providers will be able to successfully offer PAYG Broadband as a lot of them simply are not geared up for the different approach – both in business and technical terms – that PAYG Broadband not only presents but absolutely requires.

Even then no other provider in the UK is currently offering a product like ours that charges based on a per MB usage and bills in arrears, as true PAYG Broadband requires and as increasingly customers are demanding because the last thing users want is to run out of allocated data allowance only to find themselves redirected to a page that needs them to whip out a credit card just so they can carry on using their Broadband connection. That approach is not only hugely inconvenient for customers but can become quite frustrating, which is certainly not going to help if Broadband take up is to be encouraged.

4) What’s your opinion on the EU’s new ‘Data Retention’ (forcing ISP’s to hold onto customers’ personal online traffic data) proposals?

Wildly conflicting, not clearly thought out and a mess in terms of implementation, compliance and policing.

5) Do you perceive ISP’s as playing an important role in the adoption of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology, or is it best left to the telecoms operators?

ISPs ‘want’ to play a part in offering VoIP and certainly some will be able to offer it but the simple facts of the matter are in the longer term the telecom operators will not sit back and allow their voice traffic business to be eroded and therefore we can see their might being used to impose their VoIP offerings to customers that – like in the case of Broadband – could simply marginalise the offerings of smaller providers.

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