Met with O2 and BE today for a general chat about the BE broadband network. They are pushing a wholesale offering and are now one of only four Tier 1 broadband wholesalers in the UK – BT, TalkTalk and Cable and Wireless being the others. Reality is I don’t see C&W doing much so probably there are only really three of them.
Telefonica has been backing BE and making not insignificant investments in their network. Their current ADSL2+ offering is competitive. The longer term question for them is really the same as for TalkTalk and that is how to leverage a new (ish) high capacity backbone once ADSL2+ becomes old hat and the world has moved on to greater and faster connectivity.
BE do have an unique advantage in that their parent O2 is obviously a mobile network which gives them an unique slant. BE, unlike TalkTalk, do not however have the fixed line piece. It’s going to be an interesting next few years as we watch the communications landscape develop.
I did find an interesting, nay impressive fact at the meeting and that is that BE’s General Manager for Wholesale, Dan Cunliffe is actually a distant relative to John Cunliffe.
John who? Come on now. John Cunliffe wrote the classic Postman Pat stories. Check them out here.
The picture below is of Dan Cunliffe impressively singing the Postman Pat TV theme tune in a duet with O2 account manager Feriel Clarke. They are both good sports. Note the look of intense concentration on his face as he gets through the difficult solo bit in the middle eight.