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So just who are the largest ISPs in the UK?

According to a broadband analysis by Point-Topic on the 29th of June 2006, the top ten ISPs have 88% of the market share of broadband in the UK. "By the end of March 2006 they accounted for 9.5 million broadband lines out of a total market of 10.7 million."

Largest UK ISPs by number of broadband lines (‘000s)

Q4
2005

Q1
2006

Market
Share

Quarter
Growth

BT Retail 
2229 
2481 
23.1
11.3
NTL 
1625 
1726 
16.1
6.2
AOL 
1150 
1300 
12.1
13.0
Telewest 
1005 
1096 
10.2
9.1
Tiscali 
934 
1085 
10.1
16.2
Wanadoo 
906 
986 
9.2
8.8
Pipex 
283 
311 
2.9
9.9
PlusNet 
176 
194 
1.8
10.2
Virgin.net 
167 
193 
1.8
15.6
Tesco 
120 
132 
1.2
10.0
Others 
1218 
1227 
11.4
0.7
Total 
9813 
10730 
 
9.3

source point-topic

It's obvious from the above figures and the graph on the right, that there are just six major players in the UK. There is quite a large jump between Pipex and Wanadoo, with BT Retail storming ahead.

Since these figures were produced, it should be noted that NTL, Telewest and Virgin, now come under one group as NTL:Telewest. This now makes them the UK's largest broadband provider with 3,015,000 customers and 28% of the market share.

UK ISP customers
Analysis from UK Plus service.

Who 0wnz j00?

Parent Co Brand Purchased Date Notes
       
BT Retail BT Internet /Openworld
BT Yahoo
PlusNet Group
Brightview Group


Jan 2007
July 2007
3.7m customers 5/07
4.5m customers 6/08 -link
Biscit V21 Oct 2006 In administration 03/07
Brightview Group
- Global
- Madasafish
Following Brightview brands merged under MAAF Aug 06:-
Freenetname, IC24, Totalise, DialStart


since 2001
Under offer with BT
July 07
BSkyB Easynet - UK Online Oct 2005 259,000 BB 1/07
553,000 BB 4/07
716,000 BB 6/07
ClaraNet Via Networks (prev U-Net) Sep 2004  
Kingston Communications Eclipse
Karoo
Sep 2004
ISP since 96
180,000 -31.03.07
Mistral Astra
Netkonect
Jan 2005
Feb 2005
 
Namesco NDO Jun 2005 Bought by Dada Jul 07
NetServices Telefonica UK May 2005 Consumer broadband sold to 186k May 07
NTL:Telewest Telewest (merger finalised)
Virgin (Virgin/NTL joint since 96)
Mar 2006
Oct 2005
 
O2 Be* Broadband Jun 2006  
Orange Wanadoo (FreeServe 12/00) Jun 2006 (re-brand)
Pipex Group
(Now Tiscali)
Bulldog (prev C+W 5/04)
F2S
Homecall (Caudwell Comms)
Host Europe
Nildram
Toucan
Sep 2006
Oct 2005
Mar 2006
Apr 2004
Aug 2004
Sep 2006

Under offer with Tiscali July 07 for £21 m

 

570,000 12/06
Total BB customers

PlusNet Group Free Online
Force 9
Metronet
since 97
since 97
Nov 2005
Under offer with BT
Dec 2006
Supanet Internexus Group    
TalkTalk (CPW) OneTel
AOL 1,535,000 3/07
Dec 2005
Oct 2006
540,000 Jan 07
2,270,000 total Apr 07
702,000 unbundled 4/07
Thus Demon
beeb.net

Mar 2003
 
Timico

KeConnect (6000 BB)
Atlas Internet
Twang.net

Apr 2007
Nov 2004
Apr 2008
 
Tiscali HomeChoice
Pipex Group
Aug 2006
July 2007
Dec 06 Now up "for sale"
186k Elite Internet Services
MailBox Internet
Onyx Internet
Tiscali vISPs
EFH
NetServices
Feb 2005
Sep 2005
Nov 2005
Mar 2005
Dec 2006
May 2007
Owned by Marrocco who sold his ISP FirstNet to the Pipex group GX Networks in 2003
Virgin Media NTL/Telewest   Rumoured to be up for sale Jul 07

Who uses Who?

Running an ISP these days is no mean feat, particulary with the huge cost of BT Central pipes. They perhaps dont have enough customers to own their own Centrals to share the costs over. Instead they may choose to re-sell another ISPs product and/or rebrand it. Some of these ISPs are called vISPs. (Virtual ISPs), other companies may simply resell another ISPs product.

vISP ISP
ACE Internet Mistral
ADSL4less Hotchilli Internet
Aquiss Entanet
CharityDays PlusNet
Fast.co.uk NetServices
Fast 24 (Central Point 05/05) NetServices + Tiscali
Ezeedsl 186k -> 51% to IO Mart
Freeola Entanet
SurfNetOnline (auth reseller for) KeConnect
Swift Internet EntaNet
TescoNet NTL
Toucan Tiscali
UKFSN Entanet
V21 NetServices
Vivaciti EntaNet + Griffin
Waitrose MadasaFish
Xifos EntaNet

Bye Bye to....

The following ISPs "went to the wall", either through being unrealistic with the pricing of adsl to their customers and offering promises of unlimited bandwidth that they couldn't possibly sustain, or in some cases simply withdrawing from the broadband marketplace.

ISP Date Notes
     
BISCit /v21 Mar 07  
Blue Leaf Sep 06 Offered Unlimited
BoltBlue Apr 07 Withdraws from the Market
e7even Jul 06 Unsustainable pricing
Euro1Net (ADS) Sep 06 Unsustainable pricing
Evolution May 2006 Offered Unlimited
Gio Internet May 2005 Unsustainable pricing
Fast24 Nov 2006  

All of the above ISPs offered something that was economically unsustainable, with a few of them offering adsl for less than the actual wholesale costs. :/

The above information is correct to the best of my knowledge.
Corrections welcomed.

 

Bit more Info.

ISP
No Date Info
AOL 1.5m Oct 06 When taken over by CPW
BT
3m Sep 06  
NTL 2,980,400 Sep 06  
Pipex 570,000   After aquistion of Bulldog and toucan
Sky
74,000 Oct 06 113k Orders 65k of the 74k are on LLU.
540 LLU exchanges +62 more due.
TalkTalk 60,000 LLU Oct 06 370 LLU with 1000 target by May 07
TalkTalk 525,000 Nov 06 Broadband losses of £70 million
Tiscali R+W 1,336,000 Sep 06 263,000 LLU - note - not all are via tiscali retail
UK Online
35,000 Oct 06 Owned by Sky
       
1,000,000 LLU lines reached Oct 06 increasing at approx 30k per week.
As at end of Sep BT had 9.3 million wholesale broadband connections inc 838 k LLU.
2.000,000 LLU lines by end of April 07

 

 
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