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UK Broadband heading straight for the cliff?

Mr Saffron, the esteemed owner of ADSLguide.org.uk (opens in new tab), UK's best known broadband website, has some words of caution about how a price war could kill UK broadband development.

The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together and as the scramble to capture more market share guides product prices, it looks like the UK broadband market is heading straight towards a gloomy future.

As broadband is quickly becoming a commodity, there is a growing need for a new way of pricing broadband packages to reflect the real value of the line. As Mr Saffron mentioned, there are actually two kinds of service providers out there, BT and non BT serviced, with the former being almost guaranteed a slow death by customer exit due to BT’s higher pricing.

The key to broadband is not price but rather sustainability. I've been stung more than once in the past with e7even and I am still licking my swollen wounds. What's the purpose of going to the cheapest provider around only to find out that it is slow, disconnects a lot, offers crappy after sales support and takes so long to provide a refund or even reply to a query?

It is a real shame that most people - including myself - are more inclined to buy on price alone rather than on other variables like after sales or speed of the line. The sad thing is that as it stands today, service providers can offer services up to 100mbps for £10 but still only manage to deliver 1mbps without being worried.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.