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Managed end-to-end internet widens options for businesses

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Mike Mitchell

UK fibre connectivity provider Neos Networks has launched a new managed internet access service for businesses. Mike Mitchell, the company's sales director for wholesale partners, explains how this combines with the firm's network expansion across the country to create a compelling proposition.

Across the UK and many other markets worldwide, the demand for high-capacity bandwidth and ability to flexibly scale services has rapidly grown among businesses in the past few years. This has been particularly true since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, which has advanced the pace of digitalisation.

The trend is clear from market insights: for example, an overwhelming 84% of enterprises said their digital transformation plans accelerated during Covid in a survey by fibre-connectivity provider Neos Networks. Indeed, almost half of those firms saw their plans speed up by one year or more.

These types of transition in the market mean a bigger call by businesses for platforms that can fully manage their internet connectivity, allowing them to focus on their core services to provide added value to customers. One such platform is the Managed Dedicated Internet Access (Managed DIA) offering that Neos has just launched, providing UK businesses with an end-to-end service that efficiently supports data-heavy real-time applications.

Customer choice

The Managed DIA service, which takes Neos further into the customer environment and includes routing equipment at the end of the circuit, allows customers to flexibly scale bandwidth from 10Mbps to 1Gbps. It also allows them to choose their connection type, whether over fibre-to-the-premises, fibre-to-the-cabinet or Ethernet. Furthermore, analytics capabilities through devices placed at either end of the line offer greater insights into network activity.

All this, along with the high-capacity offerings that Neos provides, sets the company apart from its competitors, says Mike Mitchell, sales director for wholesale partners at Neos Networks.

“Managed DIA enables businesses to concentrate on what they’re good at, while we concentrate on delivering that network-layer service for them that’s fully supported and maintained,” he says. “It also allows proactive monitoring of the network for customers, to give a true reflection of what the service is doing.”

Mitchell explains that the product fits in well with the network expansion that Neos has recently undertaken as part of a programme named Project Edge. This saw the network provider double its reach in the space of a year to the end of 2021, having unbundled a total of 550 BT exchanges by that stage and bringing high-capacity connectivity of up to 100Gbps within reach of 750,000 UK business postcodes.

Carrying on its expansion since then, the integration of greater network control combined with a product like Managed DIA means the ability to provide greater value to customers and more cost-effective access into buildings.

“With the investment we’ve made into broadening our UK presence, the ability to give customers higher-capacity capabilities has opened up an opportunity whereby we can reach out and market our managed product across our customer base,” says Mitchell.

Metro boost

This is further solidified through the rollout by Neos of its metro access networks across four key UK cities for businesses. This enables the provider to take an additional step by being able to respond to the needs of regional businesses faster and at lower cost by offering direct access into its national high-capacity network.

The launch of the first of these is imminent, with the Liverpool network set to come online in November and be available on the company’s LIVEQUOTE portal – a platform that allows customers to compare services, generate quotes and place orders for connectivity products. This is set to be followed next year by Birmingham, Manchester and London.

Mitchell says such moves towards a fuller “on-net” experience that provides direct access from Neos into buildings, together with complementary products like Managed DIA, will create a compelling experience for businesses.

“It should end up being a more seamless experience for the customer,” he states. And the launch of products such as Managed DIA alongside the network build taps into the long-term desire among businesses to have a higher level of automation and flexibility as the industry becomes more usage-driven, adds Mitchell. “It’s giving us the ability to own the end-to-end service, to enable us in future to create a better end-to-end customer experience,” he says.