ISP Review - SurfAnyTime Interview

ISP Review interviews UK ISP SurfAnyTime

SurfAnyTime Interview
By Mark 'Winter' Jackson : Feb 22nd-2005 : Page 1 of 2

"Smaller provider’s already neat margins will be squeezed even further to retain data"


UK ISP SurfAnyTime is one of the country’s smaller, yet reasonably well known, providers. It’s representative of a part of the market that’s often overlooked and ignored, thus its opinions and perceptions are even more important.

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. SurfAnyTime is the fourth in our series to be interviewed:

1) Who are you and what do you do?

Derek Lewis.
SurfAnytime Ltd MD. SurfAnytime is an SME based ISP.
Firefly Enterprises Ltd MD. Firefly Internet is a consumer orientated ISP and recently nominated for ISPA’s Best Sumo Broadband ISP.

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?

Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus measures have been implemented across our email platform for the past two years. This will be developed further by allowing customers more flexibility in how email is handled by allowing them to develop their own personal filters to process potential spam how they see fit. Anti-Virus is not an opt-out or configurable option.

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

The first quarter of 2004 saw a marked increase in new ADSL installations with a tail-off towards summer. Autumn’s extended reach also saw a boost in ADSL sales. 0808 dialup services are still on the increase albeit not on the same scale as broadband. We put this down to not everyone requiring the speed/flexibility of broadband but require a good, reliable dialup service, which is maintained by low, manageable contention ratios.

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

This ‘Big-Brother’ move seems to be a double-edged sword. While we can see the potential legal needs for such a move, the overheads this will place on the providers will have to come from somewhere, the Customers. Smaller provider’s already neat margins will be squeezed even further to retain data, 90% of which will be totally, completely pointless. The majority of Net traffic will no doubt be above board, legal and no threat to anyone. Let’s face it, who cares what type of toppings on his pizza John Doe orders, hardly a threat to National Security.

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?

Can one exist without the other? ISPs have the facilities to get the customers on VoIP directly but Telco’s would be required to handle VoIP-Normal calls. Pretty much a partnership I’d say.

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