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Spark and QB Telecom Enter Crowded UK Broadband ISP Market

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 (10:48 am) - Score 856

Breaking into the United Kingdom’s already crowded and aggressively competitive broadband market is not for the faint of heart, never the less two new ISPs have recently sprung into life alongside some big claims and expectations – QB Telecom and Spark (Spark Energy). But is it still possible to succeed where so many others have failed.

The first provider, Spark, is an off-shoot of energy firm Spark Energy and one that tends to focus on the private tenanted property sector. As a result it won’t be a focus for our article because we’re more interested in services that are available to consumers more generally.

On top of that Spark’s broadband packages don’t yet appear to be live; at least we couldn’t find them online with a quick check. Otherwise Spark intends to try and differentiate itself by being more competitive on price than the big ISPs and offering “shorter” 6-12 month contract terms. At present we have no easy way to check these claims.

The second provider, QB Telecom, appears to be more mainstream and has set itself the rather bold ambition of securing 10,000 customers in the first year and then ten times that number over the next five years (we can think of many other ISPs that are highly respected and have yet to achieve that sort of growth). Like Spark they plan to offer “shorter” contracts and to be cheaper than all of the major ISPs.

Martin Tait, Owner of QB Telecom, said (Herald Scotland):

I believe it’s time for a change and it’s time for a refreshing new provider to enter the market, offer significant savings, great value for money and also provide a customer service experience where the customer is really taken care of and valued, and that’s exactly what we will be doing at QB Telecom.”

QB Telecom is due to go live on 25th August 2014 and luckily the website already carries a few details, which means we can start to examine their claims. Unfortunately the information is very basic and makes general reference to packages that start from £4.95 per month (plus free activation) and call rates from “as low as 1p per minute” (note: no call setup fees are charged).

We can think of several other broadband ISPs, such as Direct Save Telecom and TalkTalk, that appear to be cheaper than QB, but without more details it’s not possible to make a fair apples-to-apples style comparison until 25th.

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