ISPreview - Be Broadband ISP Interview
Be Broadband ISP Interview
By: Mark Jackson - October 21st, 2008 : Page 2 -of- 2
"We therefore feel slightly aggrieved to be in same boat as suppliers that are 'unlimited' but then have very restrictive FUPs"

5. The rollout of future fibre optic broadband services from BT does have one very obvious downside, it risks widening the ‘Digital Divide’ between more economically feasible urban areas and rural/remote communities where the costs of installing fibre can be prohibitive. Likewise, some locations that are only able to get the most basic of broadband speed and connectivity could be left out in the cold for many years to come. How do you think this problem should be tackled?
Be: Creative solutions are always round the corner. Whether it be through wireless or the fixed network I am sure all communities will see the benefit of technological advancement.

6. BT has said that it will open its new next-generation fibre broadband network up to the wholesale (ISP) market, do you think that Virgin Media should now do the same with their more establish cable infrastructure and if so, why?

Be: No because BT holds a monopolistic position with access to UK nationwide households and Virgin doesn’t.

7. Extra services, from email to website space, have been a part of most ISP packages for many years. However recent developments have seen cheaper providers outsourcing many of these services to lower cost alternatives or abandoning them entirely. Much of this is to do with saving money, although others suggest that very few customers actually use the extra services provided by their ISP. What is the reality and do you think we’re going to see more of this in the future?

Be: Be Broadband believe that it should be up to the customer to decided what extra services they need and so leave them to select the best option. Bundling services “for free” is not for us.

8. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed a quarterly (Q2 2008) decline of 0.3% in new land-line Internet connections, suggesting that the remaining 35% of unconnected households have little desire to get online. What, if anything, can ISPs do to improve the situation or has migration now become the only real source of market movement?

Be: This is long tail of product adoption. From now on it will be slow trickle of new customers with all the rest being users migrating to find the best service.

9. Do you think it’s better to offer/advertise a broadband package as “unlimited” with a fair usage policy (FUP) attached or a package that’s capped to a specific amount of monthly data usage (possibly also with an FUP) and why?

Be: Good question. Be Broadband offer an unlimited service and we have never capped a customer due to excessive usage, only for attacking the network! We therefore feel slightly aggrieved to be in same boat as suppliers that are “unlimited” but then have very restrictive FUPs. May be the answer is to have a ridiculously high limit, what do you think?

10. Phorm, the controversial system that works with ISPs to anonymously monitor what websites people visit for use in targeted advertising campaigns, has caused a great deal of concern among some people due to fears over a loss of personal privacy, among other things. What are your thoughts on this system, is it a good or bad thing?

Be: Personally I think I would prefer to have the right ad served to me rather than any old rubbish. If it is presented correctly and users are given the option to opt-in to the service I think it will fly. Referring back to Q1, user don’t like the thought of Big Brother.

11. Has the current economic climate (credit crunch) had any negative impact upon your ISP and if so, how?

Be: Dominos Pizza sales go up, people stay in more and they need entertaining at home. No better way than have unlimited access to more entertainment than a person could ever watch, where from, the Internet.

12. What kind of services and or features do your customers ask for today that they didn’t five years ago?

Be: As there is so much rich media out there now, Be Broadband Members want - Speed and the ability to download as much as they want.

13. Where do you think the ISP market and its challenges will be in five years time?

Be: How ever much we forecast what people will be doing in 5 years it will be miles off. Holographic avatars wandering around 3-D virtual worlds, oh no that’s next year. One thing is for certain, the need for Be Members to do more things, more often and faster will not diminish and we need to keep ahead of that with creative thinking and smart investments.


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