Leicester to be a mid-sized UK city to watch for infrastructure-level broadband competition


Cultural Quarter, Leicester by Malc McDonald, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Leicester to have increased infrastructure-level competition for its broadband services
Cultural Quarter, Leicester by Malc McDonald, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Grain Extending Full Fibre Broadband to Homes in Leicester UK – ISPreview UK

My Comments

Leicester, a mid-sized city in the UK’s East Midlands is to end up with plenty of infrastructure-level broadband competition thanks to Grain Connect starting to set up shop in that city.

Grain Connect expect to cover the UK over the next five years but are targeting mid-sized cities and large towns. They intend to offer retail service for GBP£14.99 per month for symmetric 50Mbps service to GBP£44.99 per month for a 900Mbps service with a minimum 12-month contract term. These kind of aggressively-low prices are there to encourage rapid service takeup.

Leicester already has Virgin Media, Openreach, Hyperoptic, Cityfibre, OFNL and Fibreloop building out Gigabit-capable service networks across the city. Then for Grain Connect to start setting shop and building infrastructure within that city will show how much infrastructure-level competition it can tolerate.

This kind of competition could lead to some keen-edge pricing for broadband or multiple-play online services and could also see the ISPs all increasing their value for money and trying to retain their customers.

But the question that can easily come about is how sustainable this kind of marketplace will be for a city of Leicester’s size. This may result in some market consolidation taking place in order to keep it in check. There will be the issue of how much market consolidation can take place to avoid a highly-concentrated US-style broadband and telecommunications market. It would be more so for small cities and large towns like Leicester.

What is going on in Leicester will show how sustainably a small-to-medium-size city or large town can handle infrastructure-level competition. This includes how competitive the market can be for Internet service.

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