Feeds

Oftel green lights telco access to BT's local loop

Another BT monopoly ended -- or will be by 2001

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Oftel has finally given the green light for telecoms companies to compete with BT and operate broadband services in Britain. The decision is a long-awaited and much-flagged milestone in the deregulation of the British telcoms market and effectively signals the end to BT's monopoly of the local loop -- the short distance that links people to the local telephone exchange. Once other telcos are in place, consumers should be able to chose which telco provides them with broadband services. That's the plan anyway. For this to happen Oftel has been forced to take strong-arm measures against BT by imposing mandatory conditions on the telco to co-operate with the regulator over unbundling the local loop. Oftel claims this will lead to greater competition and reduced prices, but due to a lengthy timetable it won't happen until July 2001. What's more, due to the technological shortcomings of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology, a fifth of Britain won't be able to hook up to broadband service, effectively turning the country into a nation of e-have and e-have-nots. Among today's key announcements Oftel said that all telecoms operators would have the right to interconnect with BT's network and upgrade BT's lines with their own equipment. It said there would be no restrictions on the types of services that telecoms operators would be able to provide over BT's network, although this is subject to technical compatibility. Oftel also said it would take responsibility for setting the price for those telcos who want to use BT's local loop. Provisional figures aired today suggest that BT could charge operators between £100 and £115 a year for a single line. Once other operators' costs are taken into account consumers could be expected to fork out around £300 a year for ADSL access, although Dave Edmonds, Director General of Oftel, said he thought this was probably on the low side. "My decision today will enable a wide range of telecoms companies to compete directly with BT to deliver new higher bandwidth services to homes and small businesses using the local telecoms network," said Edmonds. "BT has assured Oftel that it will co-operate fully with the rest of the industry to meet this timetable. BT has agreed to work with Oftel to introduce a new licence condition, which will set out how these arrangements will work. However, since nothing involving BT or Oftel is ever straightforward, the industry will have to wait and see what really happens. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.