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Saturday, 16 June 2012

broadband networks play the incumbents at the contract game

One of the ways in which the incumbents endeavour to beat new entrants, including community networks, is with predatory pricing. Special offes etc lure the unaware into deals with the incumbents whenever a new provider pops their head over the parapet. But there is a great solution to this I discovered in USA on my trip....
This blog post can be read at

It is so beautifully simple and is unmatchable by the incumbents, especially in cases of networks such as who are offering a service that the incumbent simply cannot match because of the continued BT failure to build out FTTH. Whenever a new potential customer has been tempted by the incumbent fliers on their doorstep, offer to match the incumbent or other ISP pricing throughout the contract term the incumbent is proposing. So, if BT offer a 25Mbps service for a fraction of the price (difficult with B4RN but easier in the standard tariff range for the other ISPs), you offer to price match the incumbent all the way through that contract period. So, if BT are offering to undercut all the competition (usually only for 3-6 months and then the small print gets smaller), offer your new customers the exact same contract. You should point out that over the contractual period it will cost the customer far more but point out it is entirely their choice to have the same contract. And you may choose to mention that there is no need to phone India every time someething is wwrong with their phone or Internet. At the end of the 18 or 24 month period, offer them the choice again to go back to your offer and point out that had they gone with that in the first place, it would have saved xyz squids for the exact same connection package, but now they can have 1Gbps and local service instead.... and spend the cash that stays in their pockets as they choose. Simples.

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