Spark expands into broadband and telephony market
Aug 13, 2014 by Spark
Spark, the Selkirk-based energy supplier, is expanding its services into broadband and telephony.
The fast-growing Scottish company, a niche provider to the letting and tenancy sector, has rebranded by dropping the word “energy” from its name in preparation for this move.
It is the first utility company to provide a one-stop-shop service in the rental market, by adding a broadband and telephone package to its energy offering.
This is the latest development in an exciting time for the company.
Spark, which has been challenging the Big Six energy suppliers, recently announced that it had broken the 100,000 customer barrier and that it now employed over 200 people – making it one of the biggest employers in the Borders, only seven years after it was founded.
In addition First Minister Alex Salmond, on a recent visit to Spark’s Selkirk headquarters, announced further Scottish Investment Bank support, up to a total of £855,000.
Now Spark intends taking on the big boys of the broadband and telephony industry by promising a better and faster service. This includes:
- Getting customers online within 48 hours.
- Speeds of up to 40MB.
- Competitive pricing – cheaper than BT.
- Short contracts of 6-12 months.
- Cheap calls, with bundled minutes included.
- Overall - the cheapest super-high speed offer on a six-month contract.
So the innovative new service will enable tenants to get online within 48 hours of moving at highly competitive rates. The contract length will also be flexible and related to tenancy durations of six or 12 months, with no cancellation fees payable within tenancies if customers change their minds.
The new service is set to outperform the major providers, who issue 12 month contracts as standard and often take longer to get communications up and running as their focus in on homeowners rather than tenants.
Spark CEO Chris Gauld said: “This is a landmark step for our company and for the rental sector across the UK. By packaging up energy, broadband and telephone we are now the first one-stop-shop supplier dedicated to the private rented sector and this represents just one of the innovations we intend to roll out over the coming years following our rebrand.
“There are currently nine million renters in the UK, of which around 45% are young people who expect to be online immediately, but this isn’t happening. In fact, for some major providers it can take a couple of weeks for the service to be active from the request reaching their system. Most utility offerings do not meet the needs of the tenant market as they fail to offer flexible contract lengths and often come with hefty cancellation fees. It’s time to look at broadband afresh and not ignore the needs of this growing part of the market.”
The rates offered by Spark are highly competitive in comparison to the other major broadband providers. By partnering with HomeTelecom, Spark is 18% cheaper than BT and 27% cheaper than Virgin on a monthly basis. As part of its model of flexibility, Spark does not charge a cancellation fee. Line rental is £14.50 a month with an £8.50 monthly broadband subscription for unlimited usage – with a speed of up to 24MB.
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