The UK broadband market is at an exciting point thanks to the investment and rollout plans of scores of providers deploying full fibre and gigabit capable broadband nationally. This has helped push the UK to 39% full fibre and 70% gigabit capable broadband coverage, up from 9% just 3 years ago. This rollout has been led by long established providers, Openreach and Virgin Media, but also ‘altnets’, the newer players in the market deploying nationally, regionally or locally, primarily as both an ISP and infrastructure builder.
The report paints a positive picture for consumers and businesses, with an upgraded communications infrastructure powering the UK, providing greater choice at infrastructure and retail level. ISPs will have to work hard to differentiate themselves from the competition as gigabit services become more widespread. Some significant upcoming developments – including the launch of One Touch Switch to enable seamless switching across different broadband infrastructure in Spring 2023 – will help encourage greater take up of gigabit services.
The ability to access finance has been a key part of the story. More than 30 billion pounds of private investment is being invested. As the market starts to mature, with more and more fibre in the ground or committed and further rounds of investment being sought, debate has turned to what this maturity means for industry, customers, government and investors.
ISPA POLICY UPDATE
Government’s renewed focus on Broadband
In her first speech as Prime Minister outside Downing Street, Truss committed to building faster broadband. With two years left before Truss will be required to call an election, there is inevitably going to be focus on the 2025 target for broadband rollout and seeking to get as close to the target as possible by the election. However, if Government is serious about achieving the rollout targets, they must take the necessary action to remove the barriers to rollout. It has now been confirmed that the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will return to the House of Lords for its report stage on 12th October. This is a key first step but more action is needed for the targets to be met.
Following her speech, Truss carried out a reshuffle of her Government with a number of changes at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Michelle Donelan MP is the new Secretary of State for DCMS, Julia Lopez has returned to her position as Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Damian Collins has retained his role as Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy and Lord Kamall is the DCMS Minister in the Lords.
ISPA members are invited to our autumn webinar, taking place on 13th October at 3pm. Join ISPA UK, alongside our partner RouteThis and industry experts as we explore the current state of play in the gigabit broadband market and the service delivery to end users.
How can ISPs integrate services into their internet provisions to enhance subscriber experience, increase efficiencies and add value?
Deployment of ‘gigabit capable’ broadband continues to progress, with almost 70% able to access gigabit capable broadband and nearly 40% FTTP. While deployment continues at pace attention is focusing on how service providers can make the most of the investment, help customers to upgrade to often more expensive packages and achieve further funding in a crowded market. With issues like take-up, customer retention, subscriber experience, value add and ARPU at the fore, this webinar will hear from vendors and providers who are helping meet the expectations placed on industry.
This impactful one-hour webinar will explore:
- Leveraging data to better understand and serve your customers
- Happier customers by reducing inefficiencies and improving services
- Improving the overall subscriber experience with value added services
- Vicky Higgin, Chief Digital & Information Officer, CityFibre
- Jason Moore, CEO, RouteThis
- Joshua Greedy, Head of Marketing and Business Development, AirBroadband
- Oliver Johnson, CEO, Point Topic
- Andrew Kernahan, Head of Public Affairs, ISPA
RouteThis also brought out an insightful support experience report that stimulates this discussion. Check it out by clicking the link below.
Book your tickets for the awards ceremony
24th November, The Landmark Hotel
The 24th annual ISPA awards is set to be the biggest one yet. On the 24th November 2022 the annual awards will be held at a new venue, the prestigious The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London, with 400 guests expected on the night. Please click the link below to secure your seats or full table, with discounts offered to members and finalists. The tickets, as always, include a networking drinks reception, a three-course dinner with wine, live entertainment and most importantly, the awards ceremony! Tickets sold out last year so don't miss out and book yours today.
The shortlist can be found here, with the Digital Inclusion finalists to be revealed at the end of October.
Thank you to the sponsors of the ISPA Awards 2022
ISPA CONTENT ISP
Service Experience Report
Managing the quality of experience (QoE) that subscribers receive is more of a priority for ISPs than ever before—and research shows that priority starts with preventing and resolving WiFi issues. In this report, RouteThis’ proprietary data shows that it is much easier said than done, thanks to issues like spiking numbers of connected devices, shifts in societal uses of home WiFi, and even a lack of plan rightsizing.
This report contains insights from millions of home network diagnostic scans conducted using the RouteThis platform in over 200 countries worldwide. In some cases, as much as 50% of support engagements were caused by problems with home WiFi setups.
From the report, you’ll discover:
- The true causes behind excessive support engagements for ISP teams
- Essential trends that will inform support strategies for the coming years
- What ISPs can do to deliver WiFi QoE in the face of these trends
Network and Connectivity Partner
Lothian Broadband chose Adtran to design and build a new core network for its end-to-end fibre broadband solution. The resulting multi-gigabit-capable fibre broadband network delivers voice, video and internet services to residents and businesses in underserved regions of Scotland.
Subscriber Experience Partner
Calix launches Revenue EDGE Platform in the UK to enable Altnets of all sizes to deliver exceptional experiences that will create new revenue streams and increase net promoter scores. U.K. altnets now have everything they need to move beyond speed and differentiate themselves with a suite of subscriber managed services—from Wi-Fi at the premises to online protection for the network and family members.
For Hull-based Connexin, Revenue EDGE means they can offer a true end-to-end solution, from the full-fibre network to the Calix GigaSpire Wi-Fi 6 systems and mobile app. “We wanted to innovate and reimagine a typical broadband connection and put additional controls into our subscribers’ hands,” said Furqan Alamgir, Connexin chief executive officer.
Full Fibre Infrastructure Partner
CityFibre network passes 2 million homes on its march toward 8 million
CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has now passed more than 2 million homes in its rollout. The major milestone marks the completion of 25% of its announced nationwide rollout to 8 million premises. Once the full rollout is completed, the network will address approximately one third of the UK market and unlock up to £38bn in economic benefits*.
Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre, said: “As the UK’s second largest fibre network, we’re thrilled to now provide two million households with access to the nation’s fastest and most reliable broadband services.
“As the nation’s true digital infrastructure challenger, we’re determined to keep raising the bar with better products, better services, and better economics. This won’t just benefit our customers and theirs, it will help unlock innovation and economic growth across the UK.”
DDoS Protection Partner
The truth about DDoS – latest trends
Cyber security is constantly evolving and it can be hard to stay up to date with recent developments. As experts in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection, Corero has unique insight into the current threat landscape. New DDoS attack vectors are increasing year on year, as attackers find ways to try and outsmart defenses. We share our insights and advice on how to stay protected in this article.
Open Disaggregated Solutions Partner
10,240 Residences Served from 1 Box | Unboxing Radisys's RLT-1600x Optical Line Terminal
From box to solution… check out our latest Unboxing Open Networking video and demo of the RLT-1600X OLT from Radysis with our Senior Systems Engineer Barry McGinley. The RLT-1600X OLT packs a tremendous amount of service capacity in a compact unit - one box can provide broadband access to up to 10,240 residences offering scalability, flexibility, and efficiency.
Keep an eye out for the surprise Easter Egg halfway through!
Damage Prevention Partner
ISPA member OGI joins the LSBUD network
- LSBUD were delighted to welcome Ogi as new Members in September. This has come as welcome news to our Welsh Users as they will now receive information about Ogi’s network location whenever they are planning to dig in its vicinity, ensuring that third party damage and subsequent network outages are avoided and Ogi’s customers stay connected. LSBUD Users already search heavily in Wales as the electricity and gas plans have long been provided through the service by Western Power Distribution and Wales & West Utilities.
Self-service as a support agent retention strategy
As support call volumes increase and customer issues grow in complexity, more customer support agents are experiencing dissatisfaction and even burnout. Many call center employees are being poached by competitors with the promise of more work-life balance through remote or hybrid work options, better technology, higher salaries, and more opportunities for advancement.
On-the-job stress is one of the major reasons why support agents leave. According to a study by Calibrio, “Health of the Contact Center 2021: Agent Well-being and the Great Resignation”, two of the top three drivers of stress for call center agents were dealing with complex customer issues at 36% and too many calls at 34%.
Poor or little training is also often cited as a top stressor in support roles and a major reason for call center employee churn. While ISP and smart home product support agents may have an excellent understanding of their company’s service or product features and benefits, they’re not necessarily trained to deal with more technical issues like WiFi connectivity. This lack of training becomes even more stressful when there’s the added pressure of meeting call time and first call resolution KPIs.
TV & Smart WiFi Partner
Netgem TV teams up with Air Broadband to connect Full Fibre Broadband services with incredible TV content
Netgem has already signed +15 partnerships with Ultrafast Fibre Providers in the UK offering the best value TV & Streaming service delivering higher sales volumes. Today, Netgem TV is proud to count Air Broadband among its partners and accompany this new phase of growth with the latest 4K version of its service. As Netgem TV continues to add inclusive premium content and access to more Streaming services, ISPs will continue to grow their customer bases whilst increasing ARPU and tenure.
The road to gigabit Britain
In building the nationwide Full Fibre network, we’re going faster and further than anyone else. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why, since 2011, we’ve been helping other network builders to massively reduce their upfront costs for digging works and laying fibre cables by sharing access to our network of 4.9 million poles and numerous underground ducts. So far, more than 120 companies are sharing our infrastructure to build their own fibre, using around 27,000 kilometres of our underground network and around 200,000 of our poles. Upgrading the whole of the UK means working together as an industry, and we’ll keep working hard to make sure our infrastructure is easy to access and easy to use.
Building this new Full Fibre network is pointless if people don’t upgrade to it. So we’re working with Communications Providers (CPs) to drive rapid take-up. A big part of upgrading our customers brilliantly is about making sure that Full Fibre broadband is available to, and taken up by, as many people as possible. In October 2021, we introduced a new pricing structure for our FTTP products, known as ‘Equinox’. It was a fairly complex set of opt-in offers, but it basically meant that CPs who make Full Fibre broadband the default choice for customers, where it’s available, would receive a reduced wholesale price. By giving providers some long-term pricing certainty, and ensuring Full Fibre is their default choice, our offer has helped CPs to offer attractive packages to customers and encouraged more and more homes and businesses to benefit from fast and reliable connectivity. More than 40 of our CPs have signed up to the Equinox pricing offer – including our largest customers - and to date over two million homes and businesses are now reaping the benefits of Full Fibre. At the same time, we’ve been learning, developing and honing our Full Fibre provisioning skills because we want to make the upgrade journey as smooth and simple as possible for people. We’re now breaking records on order volumes and provisioning activity every week, so the strong customer demand we’re seeing should continue.
CX & Smart WiFi Partner
Plume is honored that Frost & Sullivan has recognized Plume with its 2022 Customer Value Leadership Award! From its research, Frost and Sullivan concluded that Plume brings an unmatched competitive edge to the smart home-as-a-service market:
"By leveraging an open-source, cloud-based framework––OpenSync––Plume facilitates the accelerated deployment of innovative services for smart homes and small businesses with self-optimizing WiFi, flawless connectivity, robust security, superior customization, and more."
Test & Measurement Partner
Field Service Management Partner
How to Boost Your Field Service Performance in Real Time
We recently spent a day with Community Fibre to help them identify a few ways to save time and money on their field service operations that they could implement in a matter of minutes – not weeks or days. We’ll show you the details, and how easy it can be to implement those changes.
Zinier’s field service solution gives you the rapid time to value of off-the-shelf field service software with the unlimited flexibility of custom-developed tools – but at a fraction of the cost. Thanks to Zinier’s no-code customization, you can make changes whenever your requirements change – and without any technical expertise.
ISPA IN THE PRESS
In September, ISPA's ISPA Altnet Gigabit Broadband Investor Report was picked by The Register, our awards shortlist and call for Heroes and Villains was published by ISPReview and Business Cornwall. ISPA was one of the signatories asking to rewrite the 30-year-old Computer Misuse Act which was mentioned in The Telegraph and Tech Monitor. Our comments were also published in ISPReview in the Net Neutrality debate article.
ISPA offers its members a variety of discounts for events that we partner with:
We are a media partner with Working From Home event, which is part of the The Business Show on 16th and 17th November, tickets are free and you can book them here.
TechEx Global Conference & Exhibition is taking place on 1st and 2nd December at Olympia in London. ISPA members can claim 20% discount, using the code ISPA20
If you would like to advertise your events here and on our website, please contact Michaela@ispa.org.uk