BT and Virgin Media could face competition from SSE
SSE Services Plc, a leading energy provider in the UK, is looking to invest in ultrafast Internet infrastructure. This could pose a new challenge for existing Internet providers such as Virgin Media and BT.
SSE is well-placed financially and is presently looking at laying fibre optics that would offer homes and business faster and more reliable Internet connectivity compared to what is being provided through cables and copper wires. The company has already forayed into Internet business, but it is still finding its footing.
David Walter, Director of SSE’s Internet business, said that the company is always working on investing in fast Internet infrastructure so that it can get a firm foothold into the telecoms sector. He clarified that at the moment, the company’s Internet business division has not made any concrete investment decisions, and none are planned in the immediate future.
However, Mr Walter did reveal that SSE is likely to invest in fibre optics with some partners, and there is also the possibility of sharing the cost of installing the new infrastructure with other retail Internet providers. He did not rule out the idea that SSE could plug into the existing infrastructure of Vodafone and CityFibre.
Currently, SSE is keeping a close watch on a comparable project being undertaken by TalkTalk in York. Mr Walter said that the Internet division of SSE could look at the acquisition of a company such as TalkTalk as a faster means of becoming a major Internet services provider.
SSE’s potential plans reinforce the fact that many utilities companies are looking to pair Internet services with utilities services as more homes are shifting to the Internet of Things (IOT). This move would be welcomed by regulators such as Ofcom, which is trying to bring more competition into the telecoms sector so that consumers will benefit.