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UK ISPs Claim a Perceived Lack of Choice is Hindering Broadband Adoption

Thursday, Mar 29th, 2012 (8:23 am) - Score 450

Business ISP Fluidata claims that 24 out of the 30 internet providers it interviewed felt that a “perceived lack of choice” and a “lack of awareness” of the broadband options open to businesses and consumers were creating a barrier to adoption, particularly in rural areas.

Elsewhere not a single ISP cited “brand” as being important to consumers when picking a new broadband provider. Fluidata claims that this is good news for new entrants to the market because it gives greater importance to speed and quality of service.

We all want good quality and speed from our ISP but the idea that brand is not important seems to suggest that these are separate things, when they are not. Consumers can just as easily, for good or ill, associate quality with a brand. Being known is always more valuable than being invisible, even for the likes of complaint ridden TalkTalk.

Piers Daniell, MD of Fluidata, says:

If people are to realise there’s more to high speed broadband than BT – and there certainly is – then we need to see more done to market the availability of high speed broadband, not just in the initial infrastructure investment. It’s great news that the government is investing more in high speed broadband infrastructure, but people need to know it’s available, or take-up will be low.”

There’s of course a somewhat self-promotional twist at work here because last year saw Fluidata and Independent Fibre Networks Limited (IFNL) launch a new 1Gbps (1000Mbps) capable ultrafast fibre optic (FTTH) broadband network (here). The service initially covers over 50,000 newly built commercial and residential properties at more than 20 sites across the UK (coverage details).

The service is based off Fluidata’s new Service Exchange Platform (SEP), which makes it easier for a range of competitive broadband ISPs (i.e. not just BT based services) to reach homes and businesses through a new aggregated open access wholesale network (more details in this interview). Apparently this means that the new 1Gbps service is already available “via a choice of over forty ISPs“, though to date we only know of one – Seethelight.

Daniell states that the problem now is about “getting Government and industry to work together to get the message out“. Of course if we knew which of the other 39 ISPs were offering it then that might be a start? It probably doesn’t help that the current coverage is comparatively small. Meanwhile national ISPs tend to only focus on promoting services with national availability, where choice is also much more abundant.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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