More action, Less Talk Talk


Remember Talk Talk, the upstart broadband service provider, that created waves earlier this year by offering free broadband forever to Britons; prompting even the most skeptical industry watchers to start the clock ticking on BT. The latest project of Charles Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse is in trouble, and customers are very very very angry.

Thankfully Dunstone admits that he blew it, and underestimated the demand… blah blah blah! Customer complaints prompted BBC to investigate the matter as part of its Watchdog program. The controversy has prompted Talk Talk to let customers break their 18-month contracts freely. ADSL Guide sums it up nicely ….” the old adage of you get what you pay for may still be the case.”


Ben Metcalfe

I think this is good news for the broadband market of the UK (which now I’m here in SF I can see is still a lot more healthy than it is here — $100 pm for an 8MB download line?)

Other ISP’s were having to downgrade the quality of their products in order to try to reduce their monthly price point to compete with TalkTalk’s “free” proposition. That left customers like myself (who were prepared to pay a premium price for a decent the service) with poorer service then we wanted. We were told “we’re going to force you to pay less per month, but you’ll get less too — like capped useage etc”.

I partly agree that value added business models are the way forward – but I’m not convinced bundling them in with conceptually similar, but physically unconnected, services like cellular telephone plans is ultimately in the customer’s best choice.

Orange might be the best mobile plan for me, but it may not be the best broadband plan for me, and vice versa. Far better to tie the platform in with services like IPTV, P2P offerings, downloads, etc to create a differentiator.



I think this is the outcome of wrong “free” strategy of Carphone warehouse to become the next “leading” broadband service provider in UK market where NTL, BT and Sky were already ruling with competitive price and service.

UK market will witness value added service in coming days with Vodafone’s new Broadband service, Orange through wanadoo, Virgin (after Telewest-NTL-Virgin Mobile merger) and many others.


Why do you have a contract if it is free? What does the contract set? This doesn’t make sense.

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