A raft of research has revealed that European e-commerce isvice will increase by two thirds. snowballing and the ISPs market is rapidly differentiating and maturing.
The latest findings from Durlacher Research revealed the landscape for UK ISPs is shifting significantly as smaller players in the sector are refocusing on the business market. It also claimed that the provision of leased line access services for businesses is a market set to soar by 59 per cent to £320 million by March next year.
Durlacher estimated that the number of ISPs targeting this area has climbed by 77 per cent since February 1998 and that the trend will continue as the free access model continues its advance on the home market, forcing out smaller ISPs that are unable to compete. This week, MSN has faced up to the inevitability of free internet access and partnered with BT to provide the service with MSN Freeweb.
The survey also revealed that five companies control 56 per cent of the ISP sector - UUNet, BTNet, PSINet, IMS and Demon.
Nick Gibson, analyst at Durlacher, added that 95.6 per cent of UK corporates outsource internet protocol (IP) services and seek added services, presenting huge opportunities to ISPs and resellers.
Another survey, by the London School of Economics (LSE), covered the world's largest 100 companies and how they were embracing the internet.
The report showed that Europe to be closing the Web gap on the US. Six out of the world top 10 online companies were European and the top three were Lufthansa, Tesco and BT.
However, the US still dominates e-commerce with 17 of the top 30 companies - followed by Europe with 11 businesses and Asia with two.
About 36 per cent of companies surveyed offer some form of e-commerce.
Computer manufacturers and retailers were highlighted as particularly active in the area.
GOVERNMENT TRIPPED UP BY E-COMMERCE
Government plans to make the UK the hub for e-commerce by 2002 have been savaged by a trade and industry select committee. The government proposals were described as 'not fit to be written into law' and would be a 'damaging and embarrassing failure'.
Even the government's attempt to promote e-government - with the aim to deliver all government services electronically by 2008 - has been met with less than enthusiasm. A report by Gallup revealed that 88 per cent of the public were unaware of the initiative.
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