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Entanet Says UK ISPs Must Focus on Reliability Instead of Speed and Price

Wednesday, Dec 5th, 2012 (1:04 am) - Score 722

Entanet, which supplies broadband services to a number of UK internet providers, has called on ISPs to put more effort into differentiating themselves by placing a “higher value” on the reliability of a connection instead of just price and service speed; especially for business services.

The communications provider claims that anecdotal feedback from its partners, which isn’t clearly referenced in their remarks, suggests that many providers could be missing a trick by allowing price and headline speed to set the tone of the packages they sell. The ISP fears that if the situation doesn’t change then “the longer-term reputation of the industry” could be placed under threat.

Darren Farnden, Entanets Head of Marketing, said:

We’d like to see more customers being made aware of just how important consistent, reliable communications are to service delivery. Connectivity should not be a secondary consideration and it should certainly not be assessed and bought purely on theoretical speeds and basic costs. Having a reliable service that delivers consistent performance will always deliver better productivity and return-on-investment.

Bandwidth and connectivity are not akin to water or electricity – you are going to see variations in the service you get from different suppliers. But they are, quite often now, being sold as a commodity, with some companies competing on price alone. That can only encourage customers to see connectivity as nothing more than a utility service that will be the same no matter who provides the service.

In practice though, we all know that performance levels and availability can vary a great deal and customers need to be aware of that fact.”

Sadly Entanet fails to outline how, beyond some potentially vague claims of strong service reliability, a provider could actually go about referencing their service quality in a tangible and meaningful way that truly reflects what each individual customer can expect to receive.

Price is easy to determine, while speed can at least be estimated (even though such predictions don’t always support reality) and yet reliability is arguably even more difficult to quantify and just as tough to predict for individual needs.

In theory a clever ISP could leverage its connection statistics, independent surveys and line performance data to produce meaningful information about reliability. In practice many prefer not to do this as it can become counter-productive when the network invariably suffers problems (i.e. issues the ISP would rather potential customers didn’t hear about).

Meanwhile others only supply such information in private and to individual customers (usually only after they’ve joined). Suffice to say that reliability as a tangible measure of something isn’t easy to reflect but there are options for those willing to give it a try. But is anybody willing to give it a try?

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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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