ISPreview - Vispa Interview
Vispa Interview
By: Mark Jackson - Nov 12th 2007 : Page 2 -of- 2
"why does the consumer need 24mb? Remember, it's not necessarily going to improve the speed in which websites load or files download"

4. BT are currently preparing to launch their ‘up to’ 24Mbps broadband ADSL2+ services sometime next year. What kind of impact, in terms of network usage and package prices, do you expect this to have?

It's difficult to say at this stage as it's still in trials. The early indications are that smaller ISP's will most likely be forced to use larger ISP's as they won't be able to afford the commitment which BTWholesale require. The impact will be similar to when 8mb was launched. But the golden question is, why does the consumer need 24mb? Remember, it's not necessarily going to improve the speed in which websites load or files download, it's more like you can download more things at the same time. Are consumers going to be wiser this time around and not be attracted to the big 24 figure?

5. Over the past 24 months we’ve seen an aggressive level of market consolidation, which has spawned several giant providers. What kind of impact, if any, has this had on your own ISP and the wider market?

In my opinion, it's exactly as I have described above... Signups are slowing, churn rates are increasing... If your ISP isn't growing as quick as it was and you're not attracting as many new customers, the next best thing is to start acquiring other ISP's simply to add their customer base to yours. Fortunately, this is not how Vispa sees things. We want to remain a small to medium sized company, keep in control & offer a quality service. From our own market research, customers are happy to pay that extra pound or two so long as they are looked after.

6. Do you think the ability to offer a bundled package (broadband + line rental, TV and or mobile phone connection) is an important product for UK ISP’s to offer or can the standalone model successfully survive on its own?

Yes and no. A company should stick to what it's good at. Vispa is good at Broadband & Internet connectivity. Yes, we have launched a bundled package but let's face it, how often does your phone line break these days? It's really a no brain exercise for us however on the other hand, a TV or mobile company doing it the other way around would mean that they have to heavily invest into a network and a service that is totally new to them. A big step! The proof is in the pudding, how good is your Talk Talk, Sky, Orange or Virgin broadband?

7. The increasingly saturated broadband market has become a problem for many ISP’s, slowing the influx of new customers from dialup migration and fresh sources. The result has seen most movement emanating from migrations between existing broadband providers. In your opinion, what does this mean for ISP’s?

Well, at Vispa, we try to do things a little differently from other ISP's. We do very little advertising & we don't use the old fishing line & hook method of attracting customers. We focus our attention into exceeding our customer's expectations by providing a service that is second to none, with the backup and support from a small team of people who are genuinely there to help with any problems that arise, be it an internet connection problem or just some general advise on what software to buy. By maintain this level of service, our main source of new business is from customer referrals and not mass advertising campaigns. This way, we remain quite unaffected by the trend.

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