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It’s time for another ‘meet the author’ article and this time we are introducing our Head of Service Operations, Neil Watson…

How long have you worked at Entanet?

I’ve not long surpassed my 8 year anniversary – and boy has it gone quickly!

What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?

I’m responsible for running the technical support, customer services, premier support and solutions provision teams.

With regards to opinion, which topics do you usually cover and why?

I tend to cover a range of subjects from net neutrality, data retention to BDUK and anything operational. Net neutrality is a key principle of the Internet and any attempt to create a multi-tiered access, especially for commercial gains, should be resisted. I’ve also covered content controls and, whilst anyone that could be considered vulnerable should be protected, I don’t believe that forcing ISPs to become the front line of such controls is a sensible approach – I’d much prefer to tackle the causes rather than implement something that will be simple to circumnavigate.

Do you have any specific industry areas of interest that you would like to discuss on opinion or that you particularly follow?

The latest changes to the MAC process is a huge concern and I firmly believe that OFCOM have got it wrong on this occasion. The agreements that are in the process of being implemented will make the migration process slower and more open to abuse. There is little to no comprehension of the wholesale model and requires everyone that supplies broadband to take action and to change the way that they work. It is an unnecessary change that will be detrimental to consumers – thereby flying in the face of OFCOM’s raison d’être.

In one of your latest blog posts, you discussed net neutrality and its recent protection through law. Do you think this will be end of the ‘net neutrality’ debate or will driving market factors eventually lead us towards a ‘two-tiered’ Internet?

The debate will always be present. There will always be commercial, profit driven reasons, for large corporates to want a non-neutral net, so despite the legislation I believe it’s something that we’ll see regularly raise its head. I believe that net neutrality is something that we should argue for at every opportunity as it helps to drive innovation, invites new start-ups to succeed, facilitates a simpler market entry for several sectors etc – the benefits of a neutral net are multi-fold, and with the right protections in place the negative effects can be managed and dealt with.

You’ve previously discussed the BDUK and its apparent bias towards BT. As the programme continues at pace and new opportunities to bid emerge, do you foresee a change to this or expect this to continue? What impact do you think that will have on the industry as a whole?

I absolutely expect it to continue in its current flawed state. BT will continue to win the bids and take the commercial advantage that it offers. In one way that’s positive as it means that BT Wholesale will have access to the areas so our partners will be able to sell the products. The negatives of the process, however, overwhelm this aspect as it does nothing to invigorate innovation, competition or encourage new entrants into the market place, thereby forcing BT to be more responsive on service and product innovation.

We actively encourage feedback and interaction from our readers, what would you like to hear about from them?

I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on the new switching processes and the impact that it will have on them. In addition any thoughts on net neutrality are always going to be interesting to hear.

 

Getting to know Neil

What are your interests/hobbies outside of the office?

I’m a bit of a foodie – whether that be eating out or cooking. I’m currently really keen on craft beers and am definitely enjoying exploring the vast range of beers out there.

If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?

Teleportation – it would make the commute really simple and could you imagine nipping out for lunch to anywhere in the world!

Who would you like to meet dead or alive and why?

Leonardo Da Vinci – I’d love to see how he worked and how he was able to do such a wide variety of things.

What are your three favourite things in life?

Good food, good company, good wine!

What is your pet hate?

Poor customer service – it really annoys me when people just don’t care about what they are doing. Oh – and voicemail!

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