ISPreview - Entanet 2008 ISP Interview
Entanet 2008 ISP Interview
By: Mark Jackson - November 13th, 2008 : Page 4 -of- 5
"It’s quite right that some in the industry have had their knuckles rapped for advertising absolutes with caveats"

11. 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?

Entanet: Gaining and retaining customers (especially business customers) is all about adding value. This will become more and more important as the broadband market consolidates and we start seeing the ceiling getting closer. Customers might currently show signs of jumping ship because of price alone but it has to be remembered that reputation follows performance. Price will always be a factor but ultimately what customers want is value for money (otherwise we’d always only buy from budget shops). Where they’re applicable to an ISPs target market, additional services such as collocation and hosting create a competitive advantage.

12. 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?

Entanet: There’s always a fight in any maturing market to capture the last segment but I don’t think as an industry we should completely abandon our efforts to gain their attention. Technology developments such as 21CN will extend the market availability to ISPs (albeit those in rural areas won’t be able to get it in the immediate future), whilst demand or desire for IP-delivered and bandwidth hungry services will also contribute. Again, I’d say it’s a case of which market you’re targeting.

13. 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?

Entanet: It’s quite right that some in the industry have had their knuckles rapped for advertising absolutes with caveats. If you tell me my broadband package is “unlimited” then that’s what I assume I’ll get. It’s no good telling me after I’m capped or get a larger bill that I should have read the small print, even if I arguably have an obligation to. As arduous as it may be to explain to customers, it’s important to set out the deliverable of any product. If it allows so much bandwidth in peak and off-peak times, or rate limits connections when your limit is reached, then you simply have to say so. It’s simple – if you hide nothing, you fear nothing.

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