ISPreview - Be Broadband ISP Interview
Be Broadband ISP Interview
By: Mark Jackson - October 21st, 2008 : Page 1 -of- 2
"Be Broadband is in a position that allows its members to download what they like, with no specified cap or limit"

Be Broadband (aka - Be Unlimited) was a relatively unknown quantity back when it first set itself up as a privately-owned, independent ISP (Internet Service Provider) in October 2004. The provider quickly shot to fame after it began trading in August 2005 with the UK's first 'up to' 24Mbps broadband service based on unbundled (LLU) ADSL2+ technology, a feat that BT is only now beginning to catch up with.

Since then Be Broadband has become well known for offering a high quality, flexible, affordable service and one that was finally snapped up by O2 Group in June 2006; O2 currently uses Be's infrastructure for its own products, helping them to achieve a notable degree of success. In continuing our Q4-2008 interview season we were able to grab Be's Head of Marketing, Oli White, to find out his thoughts on the current climate and recent developments:

1. Six of the country’s largest ISPs recently agreed to a voluntary anti-piracy deal with the music and film industry. Under this agreement any customers identified as having been involved in downloading illegal music or movies would be issued with a warning to stop. Customers that continue the activity could also face further, as yet undecided, penalties (not disconnection) for their actions. What are your thoughts on this; is it the best way to tackle the problem and how will your ISP be affected?

Be: This in only one the recommendation there were put forward. The others included the music industry looking to promote the legal download of content and the development of a business model that supports “all you can eat” download. We will have to wait and see if the big brother approach is effective but if all of these measure are put in place I believe we will make progress.

2. There was a lot of talk between the end of 2007 and early 2008 about the impact of growing online video (IPTV) consumption upon ISPs, raising network usage levels and putting pressure on the economic models adopted by some providers. How has the situation panned out, is this still a cause for concern and if so then how can it be solved?

Be: Be Broadband is in a position that allows its members to download what they like, with no specified cap or limit. Therefore our Members have always been large consumers of media like video so it has had a relatively small impact on us.

3. Mobile Broadband services have been one of the surprise hits of the past year, buoyed up by lower pricing, increasingly competitive speeds and even going so far as a take a nibble out of the fixed-line broadband market. What are your thoughts on this new service and is it to be perceived as a threat to your own?

Be: It is an excellent solution for people that HAVE to be connected all the time. We believe that Be Members are using mobile broadband services as well as our own service. We do not feel it has had significant impact on the type of user that uses a high quality service such as Be.

4. BT recently revealed plans to invest £1.5bn into a rollout of faster ‘up to’ 100Mbps next generation fibre optic based broadband services, which could reach as many as 10 million homes by 2012. The service is bound to pose significant investment problems for ISPs, especially smaller providers, with many needing to juggle both existing broadband services with a completely new product. How do you view this development in the broadband market, is it something ISPs can afford or even need and how do you think customers will react?

Be: To have a significant impact the investment would need to be 20 times this, not even BT’s pockets are that deep. Inlight of what has been happening in the banking world may be the UK government could fork out another £30bn to rollout a network for us all!

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