I know this is big news in every single media outlet there is today. CPW has bought Tiscali for £236m making it the second largest broadband provider.
So what can I add to all that is being said? Whilst the “big six” is now the “big five” there are still hundreds of small ISPs out there serving niche, mostly business to business customers. The time will come very soon I think that this base of hundreds of service providers will have to shrink.
Many ISPs are now 10 – 15 years old having started during the initial dial up boom. Most are “owner operated” with proprietors facing a difficult time ahead and the need to find capital to invest in new capacity and at the same time facing the cost pressures applied because of consumer ISP pricing strategy.
Another tier of B2B ISPs is going to emerge as clear winners. Just being an ISP will not be enough. These will be specialist Communications Providers able to satisfy the complete range of business communications requirements. These companies already exist but the gap between them and the rest will become wider and the day will come where most of the small businesses will disappear.