Niche is Good say CMA

The Communications Managers Association (CMA) has welcomed Ofcom’s recent report in to the role of the smaller ISP which shows how many UK enterprises depend on highly competitive niche and specialist Internet Service Providers.

Whilst the smaller ‘niche’ players take only 5% of households they serve a whopping 30% of the UK’s 4.4m enterprises – providing businesses with high quality and well supported services.

Although this research may surprise media commentators, the Communications Management Association has long held that the UK telecoms market for business services is enriched by a large and healthy eco-system of small firms who provide expert services.

“The well known brands may get the headlines”, says CMA’s Chief Executive, Glenn Powell, “but as far as British business is concerned it is these smaller specialist providers that that so often deliver the goods”

Welcoming the report, the CMA says that the role, not only of specialist ISPs but also many hundreds of systems integrators, distributors and value-added resellers of networked product and services has long been under-valued and, until recently, largely overlooked by regulators and policy makers.

This research, throwing a welcome spotlight on these vital services, should be followed by further in-depth examination of other parts of the industry to broaden the perspective of policy makers and encourage regulation that is better-informed and sensitive to the UK’s commercial telecoms eco-system.

Businesses of all sizes, says the CMA, would welcome a rebalancing of encouragement and investment in these competitive players who have shown that they can innovate faster and be highly responsive to the needs of UK enterprises.

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