Q&A: Matt Cantwell, head of Demon UK

We talk British broadband with the head of one of the leading business providers in the UK.

Whilst Britain continues to build up its broadband infrastructure, to the delight of consumers and businesses alike, we are still on the sidelines compared to other nations such Scandinavia and South Korea.

But as broadband becomes more and more of an essential utility for companies in the UK, are current plans going to be good enough and how will other technologies help us become a better connected nation?

IT PRO spoke to Matt Cantwell, the head of one of the leading business broadband providers, Demon, to gauge his thoughts.

Demon re-launched back in January. What was the thinking behind the that move?

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We saw a bigger opportunity to focus on business customers with broadband. People are becoming more and more aware that services are different from one provider to another, from one product to another, and businesses are more and more reliant on their broadband.

So we saw an opportunity to carve out a niche within small businesses as well as very high end consumers with more technical requirements.

The recession meant it was a brave time to re-launch. Did it affect the number of customers looking to invest in new broadband contracts?

Broadband is not a substantial investment. Our business broadband product goes from about 20 up to the new, most expensive products which are about 150 a month, so it is not a massive capital investment businesses need to make.

Broadband is also able to help them run a lot more efficiently. Businesses are starting to make people, or ask people, if they can work from home but they need a decent quality connection there.

People are starting to use the internet more to sell, or to buy, or to communicate with their customers, so it is increasingly important that they have decent quality internet access.

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Broadband is actually an enabler to save money so it has not been a problem to talk about this in such a climate because it is a driver for cost savings and the price, relative to other expenditure, is fairly minimal.

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