Ofcom Publish ISP Research

Industry regulator Ofcom has published the findings of its niche Internet service provider (ISP) research.

At the request of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) – the UK’s leading Internet trade association – Ofcom undertook research into the niche ISP market.

The purpose of the survey was to provide a more detailed view of the ISP market in the UK focusing on the role of niche players’ service in the sector. The data gleaned is intended to inform the regulator and give it a better understanding of the variety of businesses in the sector in light of important ongoing telecoms consultations.

Former ISPA Council members Richard Sharpe of altoHiway and Matthew Hare of Community Internet were centrally involved in the discussions with Ofcom that led to the research.

The research discovered that there are nearly 700 niche ISPs serving 30% of UK business customers and 5% of UK households. Collectively these niche ISPs turnover £1.15 billion each year.

Other key findings included:

Niche ISPs offer a broad range of services from Internet connectivity and web-hosting to consultancy

More than half (54%) of niche ISPs surveyed claim their approach to service provision, offering personalised products rather than standard packages, give them an advantage over larger ISPs