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Broadband providers should be focusing less on the speed and cost of their services, and more on reliability as they aim to attract new subscribers, it has been claimed.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing at wholesale communications provider Entanet, said that focusing on the quality of service delivery can help firms differentiate themselves from the competition.

“We’d like to see more customers being made aware of just how important consistent, reliable communications are to service delivery," he stated.

"Connectivity should not be a secondary consideration and it should certainly not be assessed and bought purely on theoretical speeds and basic costs."

Mr Farnden said that having a reliable service that delivers consistent performance will always deliver better productivity and return on investment.

He noted that bandwidth and connectivity are not akin to water or electricity - meaning there are variations in the service customers receive from different suppliers.

But they are, quite often now, being sold as a commodity, with some companies "competing on price alone", the marketing expert said.

"That can only encourage customers to see connectivity as nothing more than a utility service that will be the same no matter who provides the service," he stated.

Mr Farnden said that, in practice, performance levels and availability "can vary a great deal".

He suggested that customers need to be made aware of this fact, in order for them to make an informed choice.

Earlier this year, Plusnet won the Most Reliable Service award at the Broadband Awards 2012.

In a survey of over 3,000 broadband customers, the broadband provider recorded the highest reliability statistic.

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