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South Yorkshire Locals Now Have a Choice of 50 UK ISPs via Digital Region

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 (10:44 am) - Score 708

The financially troubled Digital Region network, which offers an alternative superfast broadband platform in South Yorkshire (England), can now give local homes and businesses a choice 50+ ISPs after the previously announced Service Exchange Platform (SEP) finally went live.

The publicly owned network, which is currently up for sale (tender) and could within the next couple of months be taken over by either BTWholesale or ETDE SA (full details), has often had difficulty attracting big ISPs on to its platform.

As a result Digital Region has had to depend upon a handful of often poorly promoted niche ISPs, which have so far failed to return the customer numbers necessary to make the network commercially viable and free it of debt; this is despite the network covering 80% of South Yorkshire (i.e. 440,000 residential properties and 40,000 businesses).

The new Service Exchange Platform (SEP), which is the work of Fluidata, Magdalene and Netadmin Systems, aims to change this by harnessing an aggregated open access wholesale network to enable ISPs to provide services in markets where previously they had no presence.

Torbjorn Sandberg, CEO of Netadmin Systems, said:

The Service Exchange Platform allows ISPs to interoperate on the Digital Region network, opening up unprecedented competition and choice for end-customers. Our solution enables end-users and ISPs to easily and automatically connect with one another, whilst also providing an ergonomic user interface making selection by customers exceptionally fast and easy. Residents and businesses in South Yorkshire now have more choice of ISP on their network than almost anywhere in the world.”

Piers Daniell, Director of Business ISP Fluidata, added:

More than 80 percent of users in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and the rural areas in-between, now have access to our 50+ ISPs. Not only do the people of South Yorkshire have an enviablenetwork, but they also have access to a very competitive broadband market. This means increased choice for those customers in the region and a larger market for our service providers to access.”

The move represents a significant win for Fluidata and its partners, not to mention the potential boost for Digital Region and local people. Still it remains to be seen whether or not today’s development will produce the kind of change desired. On top of that the situation could change again if BTWholesale were to win the tender.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

    Well I’m quite happy to continue with Origin Broadband.Been with them since August and can honestly say they are the best isp I have been with,their support is first class.

  2. Avatar Kingtrip says:

    Anybody notice the statement “Digital Region has had to depend upon a handful of often poorly promoted niche ISPs”. A point that is completely true.

    Sorry though, 50+ ISPs are now available as a result of this?

    Who are these yet further poorly promoted ISPs that you speak of?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I think BT, O2, TalkTalk and Sky are supported by SEP.

  3. Avatar Sheffield Owl says:

    I think the big problem with the existing DR isp’s is that not many people have heard of them.I certainly hadn’t till I started looking.
    I went for Origin over Littlebigone and Ask4 as they were the only one who had a cheaper package..£17.50 for 24mb down/10mb up.The other 2 were £25 for a 40/10mb connection,which didn’t bother me as 24mb is fast enough for my needs.

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