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Plusnet Offers SME ADSL ISP Help

Posted: 07th Sep, 2004 By: MarkJ
Plusnet is throwing "lifeline" to ISP's, specifically smaller ones, which stand to face economic hardship as a result of BT's recent business ADSL price hikes. The provider suggests buying capacity through itself instead of BT’s distribution arms:

BT's increases in the cost of business broadband have left many service providers with few options, faced as they are, with additional expenditure of up to 30%. The UK Internet Federation (UKIF), a newly created trade body representing the interests of affected ISPs, has recently stated that the increase has "put them in a position where they will be unable to compete and will be faced with terminating their business". Despite a last-ditch appeal to Ofcom last week, the price increase has been confirmed.

PlusNet firmly believes that for the UK broadband sector to be successful, breadth of customer choice and industry innovation is important. Today's proposal aims to promote effective and sustainable competition, providing the means for small and medium sized ISPs to participate fairly in a market dominated by the few large providers.

"Many smaller operators providing niche services, both locally and nationally to the residential and business market, have been hit particularly hard by this news," stated Marco Potesta, Marketing Director at PlusNet. "With a last ditch attempt to persuade Ofcom to rule against the price increase failing, UKIF members have few options left available to them."

However all is not lost. PlusNet is hoping to meet with UKIF representatives and/or members to discuss a potential way forward that could turn a potential negative into a positive for all concerned. The affected ISPs are buying relatively small amounts of capacity from a number of BT distribution arms; this could be consolidated into buying through PlusNet.

"Having looked at the situation, we believe that smaller ISPs can leverage our existing DSL platform and get back to the cost structures in place prior to the recent price rises. We also believe this can be done in such a way that not only is customer ownership and product development retained by the relevant individual ISPs, but improvements in quality of service can also be gained," continued Potesta.

To establish the feasibility of this proposal, moving forward PlusNet proposes to hold a forum in the coming weeks to encompass all affected UK ISPs to plan the way forward.

"We are making this public release to alert UKIF representatives of our proposal. PlusNet is committed to facilitating the way forward but we must emphasise that action needs to be taken quickly to ensure a successful outcome," said Potesta.

PlusNet has set up a contact email address ukif@plus.net for those wishing to participate in establishing the forum.


The details aren't clear, so it’s difficult to gage exactly what Plusnet’s proposal entails (capacity is a very broad term). Certainly anything that leads to fewer truly independent ISP’s could be of concern.
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