Kitz Forum

Broadband Related => Broadband Technology => Topic started by: Bowdon on August 06, 2018, 11:13:06 AM

Title: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: Bowdon on August 06, 2018, 11:13:06 AM
The reason why I ask is that while the conversation to move people on to higher speed products is taking place, and looking to make those higher speed products more closely match the price of the previous generation technology, we see some ISP's throwing upto 200's worth of equipment ( https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/08/vodafone-uk-home-broadband-offers-gadgets-worth-up-to-200.html (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/08/vodafone-uk-home-broadband-offers-gadgets-worth-up-to-200.html) ) at potential customers rather than put the prices up.

The pricing race seems to be only going one way, a race to the bottom. The fact that most of these products all have to answer to one source, Openreach, to fix any problems means there isn't really that much difference between them. They seem to be trying to get new customers at any cost.

A lot as been said about FTTP in the future. But if this is going to happen at a relatively quick pace then a lot of investment is going to be needed, even Openreach have said that. It seemed to be their plan to have their customers the ISP's contribute to that cost.

But how are these ISP's going to be able to contribute anything if they are purposely keeping their prices low, as well as now throwing 200 in goods at new customers? They are going to end up bankrupt and going out of business before FTTP gets here or will be in no condition to help.

So;

1. Would getting Ofcom to set a minimum price for products help this situation?

2. Or is there another solution?

3. Or do you think there is no situation to fix?
Title: Re: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: ejs on August 06, 2018, 06:54:53 PM
I'm just going to freely dish out my opinion, which is "no" as the answer to all three questions - what that even means for the third question, I don't care.
Title: Re: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: gt94sss2 on August 06, 2018, 07:19:30 PM
The pricing race seems to be only going one way, a race to the bottom. The fact that most of these products all have to answer to one source, Openreach, to fix any problems means there isn't really that much difference between them. They seem to be trying to get new customers at any cost.

A lot as been said about FTTP in the future. But if this is going to happen at a relatively quick pace then a lot of investment is going to be needed, even Openreach have said that. It seemed to be their plan to have their customers the ISP's contribute to that cost.

But how are these ISP's going to be able to contribute anything if they are purposely keeping their prices low, as well as now throwing 200 in goods at new customers?

The problem is not with ISP's keeping their prices low - that encourages take-up after all.

The problem is a) that the regulated prices Openreach charge ISP's for certain services should be higher - encouraging OR to invest in the network and b) that regulation (i.e. LLU) hinders OR's desire to remove copper from the local loop.
Title: Re: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: burakkucat on August 06, 2018, 08:02:15 PM
I shall echo ejs' response . . . until such time as Ofcom has been abolished.
Title: Re: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: kitz on August 06, 2018, 08:18:29 PM
OFCOM actively encourages low pricing... and frequent switching. 

I'm not much keen on this 'New Customer Only' malarkey, but its not unique to broadband and applies to other industries too so I doubt it's going to change anytime soon. 
Title: Re: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: Weaver on August 07, 2018, 03:46:24 AM
It could be approached the other way round. Ofcom rather than trying to do things to BT and then predict what the outcome will be could simply get BT together with government and give them a contract to achieve a particular outcome and then do whatever BT needs to happen to make the thing financially feasible for BT. BT knows, Ofcom doesn't. Mind you, simply abolishing Ofcom would solve the problem of not knowing what Ofcom should be doing. Forcing prices up on customers is an efficient form of taxation and it means that those who have no interest in the internet do not pay the tax. For international competitiveness the government has realised belatedly that it needs good connectivity, but the way people go on, having fast downstream is the solution to cancer and better than sex. The money could also be spent on the NHS, and as a serial moaner wanting a better deal my self out of self interest the irony and moral case is not lost on me.
Title: Re: Should Ofcom impose a minimum price on broadband products?
Post by: jelv on August 07, 2018, 07:51:07 AM
I'd rather see more regulation on the standards suppliers have to meet: minimum speeds AND service. There should be automatic compensation for both loss and substandard service. If that means some prices have to rise than so be it.