2004 was the year in which broadband penetrated the mainstream market. 2005 was the year of mergers and acquisitions. 2006 is shaping up to be the year of broadband bundles – a direct result of the multi-million pound deals of 2005 which saw a host of major UK telcos reposition themselves in the market in preparation for the oncoming “broadband war. ”
More Internet users in the UK now use broadband instead of dial-up, and the total number of customers signing up with one of the many UK broadband providers is still increasing. The high level of competition, coupled with advances in technology which have lead to higher broadband download speeds and availability, continues to encourage new users onto the market.
However speed alone will not be enough to convince consumers to sign up for broadband bundles – which may include up to four services in the future (fixed-line phone, Internet, TV, and mobile phone). The key will be for broadband providers to develop the services that broadband allows for, and to deliver them to as many households as possible.
2006 may prove to be a year of conflict as previously separate services converge into the one product. Digital TV, telephony, and Internet access will, quite simply, be available for use through the medium of broadband. Boasting the cheapest prices may therefore not be enough to win a major slice of the market. Deliverability and quality content will surely be the two most important factors.
Major content providers such as TV broadcasters and news networks may find themselves competing against traditional internet service providers in the race to channel content to people's computers. ISPs may go head-to-head with mobile phone companies, and mobile phones companies may battle it out with major content providers. Quite a mess. It is no wonder so many companies within these previously separate playing-fields are scrambling to do deals with each other.
Let’s not forget about advancements in the telephony world either. Broadband providers may even compete with companies such as Vonage and Skype to provide telecom services via broadband. That is, of course, unless they can strike a deal to provide such services to the millions of technology-hungry customers throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
All the action will not just take place amongst the massive telco companies and broadcasters. 2006 may also be the year in which blogs, podcasts and other consumer-generated content becomes mainstream. Such activities may currently be confined to a hobbyist niche, but not everyone likes to read the news forced down upon us from the Gods of broadcasting.
The promise of virtually unlimited content and services streaming into our homes is reminiscent of how the net was talked up in the early 1990’s. Now, it seams, the pipes are in place to make the hype a reality.
Broadband-is-cheap contains up-to-date news, information, and Cheap Broadband deals from leading UK Broadband Providers .