ISP Review - SurfAnyTime Interview

ISP Review interviews UK ISP SurfAnyTime

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

"Who actually needs an 8M connection in their spare room? What are they using it for?"


6) Many speak of forthcoming faster broadband technologies (ADSL2, Fibre To The Home etc.), do you think there’s demand for faster services or should things stay as they are?

There will always be a Customer-driven thirst for more, more, more. VoIP and Video-on-Demand only have certain requirements and only need so much bandwidth. Who actually needs an 8M connection in their spare room? What are they using it for??

7) Will dial-up services still have a place in the UK market 5 to 10 years down the line?

5-10 years…who knows? Emerging technologies may indeed wipe out any requirement for dialup but in the forthcoming few years, yes, absolutely. We have seen an increase in our own 0808 customer base and an even bigger increase in our 0845 traffic. I do think it is important to maintain a wide product offering though – let the customer decide. If they have no option, the have no choice!

8) Many fear that the growing use of bandwidth limits will make broadband technology more restrictive, especially at a time when higher definition content, online music and movie downloads growth demand the opposite. What’s your ISP’s position on this?

This is a difficult one as I can see this from both sides. The emerging pricing structures from the likes of BT appear to be dictating a capped EU service; this allows lower EU pricing and will potentially drive demand for new installations. Unlimited usage + quality service + lower pricing cannot be maintained while making profit. This should drive a dual offering though, cheap = capped, unlimited = ££. The Customer must be given the choice.

9) Can we expect broadband to get even cheaper, or do you feel that the correct pricing level has already been achieved for what is currently offered?

I really do think the current pricing of circa £22 for an unlimited 512 is an acceptable price. Yes, other countries have faster speeds at lower prices but this is Britain, the land of £1/gallon fuel and £10 for a bottle of £2.50 whiskey.

10) Is Local Loop Unbundling something your provider has considered, already invested in or would consider in the future and why?

Investment in LLU is beyond us I’m afraid. Any involvement would be a resale model but higher speeds at lower cost are of interest on the proviso QoS is not affected.

11) Finally, what do you perceive as being the most important developments for your ISP in the coming year (2005)?

More flexible broadband offerings, putting the customer more in control, VoIP is of great interest, we’re investigating support via VoIP – free to the customer. This year will also see us investing more in upgrading our current systems ensuring a better customer experience. DC upgrades, server upgrades, better resilience, faster responses from our own systems etc. If we make £1,000 on something, I’d rather spend it on improving our services for our customers than metallic paint on a new car! Growth via acquisition (of smaller fish) is also an option.

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ISP Review sends our thanks to SurfAnyTime’s Derek Lewis for taking time out to answer the questions.

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