Philip Lee, head of channel at ITS Technology Group discusses why the channel must champion fibre now, why it is crunch time for ultrafast connectivity, and how fibre adds value to the channel’s offer.
How does full fibre add value to the channel?
Over the last year we have onboarded more than 100 partners to our Faster Britain partner programme, bringing the total to around 300 resellers, ISPs and MSPs that trust us to provide connectivity to their customers. This is from pretty much a standing start in mid-2018. It paints a picture of how full fibre plays a significant role in the channel’s offer to end users and how resellers and service providers are really picking up the pace in terms of switching to fibre when it comes to selling to their customers.
Ultrafast underpins the services that ‘run over the top’ which is where our partners add the value to their end customers. Without a fast internet connection, these cloud services simply don’t work. The real value in fibre is that it makes everything else work – it’s a utility.
Why does the channel need to act now?
It’s really important for the channel to act ahead of the PTSN switch off. If they don’t, their customers will be looking elsewhere. The landscape has changed, and digital transformation or cloud migration has accelerated through necessity.
The pandemic first drove businesses to enable staff to work from home, and now as restrictions are removed, to work from home, the office, or indeed anywhere. Fast connectivity is the key to allowing businesses to enable a secure and seamless – the same – user experience no matter where they are.
How can full fibre providers add value to the channel?
Providers must make full fibre accessible, make it easy for the channel to sell connectivity, and provide the solutions that the market needs and demands.
We provide an open access wholesale model. Our Faster Britain programme, powered by ITS’ full fibre infrastructure, is designed to help our partners educate and cut through the market.
We think it is vital to provide a quality product, service and experience as this reflects on our partners’ reputations with their end customers.
Where is your focus?
Delivering UK-wide Gigabit-capable infrastructure is gathering pace, and there is increasingly collaborative thinking across the industry.
As a business connectivity provider, we are focussing on the areas where there is both density and demand and work proactively with our partners to identify these locations. If we can build where we know there is pent up demand it’s a win win.
Our full fibre networks use the latest design and XGS-PON technology, allowing a us to flex from 100Mbps to 40Gbps. We’ve worked with our partners to create a service portfolio that meets market demands – from enterprise internet access and business broadband, to Ethernet leased lines, bespoke carrier networks, and dark fibre.
Our main focus is to drive simplicity into the partner programme, to make it really easy to do business. We are continuously improving and developing our portal with new functionality and ensuring information such as network availability and pricing is up to date. We have also commercially launched a partner rebate incentive to really help drive cash back to partners to allow them to reinvest in marketing, people, their own incentives, or their own business.