ISPreview - Vispa Interview
Vispa Interview
By: Mark Jackson - Nov 12th 2007 : Page 1 -of- 2
"LLU migrations are the problem as the majority of LLU providers do not take part in the migration process and the ones that do, make it quite tiresome"

First launched during 1999 at the start of a boom in UK Internet access services, Vispa has grown and continues to be a prominent force in the ISP market, providing both residential and business services to consumers. Vispa Internet may only be a small provider but it has managed to gain a reputation for quality.

ISPreview has been able to catch up with Vispa’s Managing Director, James Ormerod, and convince him to answer a few questions regarding everything from the debate over next-generation networks to faster up to 24Mbps ADSL2+ services:

1. Ofcom’s new broadband migration rules (GC22), which make it easier for consumers to switch ISP’s, were introduced earlier in the year; though they still fall short when it comes to unbundled (LLU) line support. Has their introduction impacted your ISP and in what areas could it still be improved?

From a commercial point of view, the introduction was music to our ears as a vast amount of the UK population now has broadband and new signups were starting to lapse. At least now we could concentrate on attracting customers from other ISP's by offering a far better service. Unfortunately, as you have pointed out, LLU migrations are the problem as the majority of LLU providers do not take part in the migration process and the ones that do, make it quite tiresome.

2a. Several major ISP’s have expressed concern about the BBC’s new free Video-on-Demand (VoD) iPlayer Internet TV (IPTV) service, primarily pointing towards its P2P based impact upon their networks.

Yes its concerning but at this stage all we can do is sit on our hands and wait! 21CN is due to start trials very soon with the bulk of the rollout happening over the next 12 - 18 months. 21CN & BTWholesale's new offerings will give ISP's the capability to offer up to 8mb (standard ADSL) and 24mb ADSL+. Obviously our outbound transit costs will increase with the introduction of not only IPTV but other high bandwidth applications but the IP Transit is not the problem; BTWholesale IPStream & DataStream pricing & limitations are the problem.

2b. Tiscali even went so far as to suggest that content providers should contribute to Internet providers, thus helping them to manage the impact. Others ISP’s fear that prices may have to rise, what are your thoughts on the subject?

Mr Tiscali lives in an ideal world! Perhaps we should charge BBC to provide their content otherwise we block it? But then again, Mr Orange will most likely shout "Free Broadband & Free BBCi content"! Some ISP's in other countries already operate on a content based charging scheme. Hopefully this is something that won't happen in the UK.

3. Fibre (FTTx) broadband technology has been a popular talking point of 2007, with many claiming that the UK risks falling behind other countries unless we replace our ageing copper wire based networks to keep up with global competition and bandwidth requirements.

BT has naturally expressed concern over the cost and is continuing its focus on existing infrastructure up to ADSL2+, though they do have some limited fibre trials. What do you think should happen?

Good old British Telecom. Yes we are far behind other countries but unfortunately, BT have a habit of getting their monies worth before progressing forward. When BTWholesale realise that their wholesale xDSL connections have stopped increasing and in fact they are simply churning customers (i.e no new customers taking up broadband) you'll find that something new and more exciting will be rolled out. It's happening now with 21CN and Wholesale Broadband Connect. New signups are slowing, churn rates are up. "Let's rollout the new product!".

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