Feeds

US-UK broadband trade war threat recedes

'Warning shots across the bow'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Britain and the US aren't about to enter a bloody trade war over policies designed to bar foreign companies from competing in Britain's fledgling broadband Internet market. In true "peace in our time" style, The Register has won the assurance from a spokesman at the US Trade Representative (USTR) that the earliest it would lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would be spring 2001. By then, of course, it would hardly be worth doing since local loop unbundling (LLU) would only be a matter of months away. The threat of a trade war reared its ugly head yesterday following a report by Communications Week International which said that the Office of the USTR was considering lodging a complaint against Britain over access to BT's local network for third-party ADSL service providers. The story quoted a report published earlier this month, which said the USTR was to review UK actions to open its market to competitive suppliers of Digital Subscriber Lines. Ambassador Barshefsky of the USTR said: "We welcome the proposal of the European Commission that all EU Member State regulators require unbundling and line sharing for competitive entry of DSL service. "We call upon the United Kingdom to implement this recommendation immediately, consistent with its WTO commitment to allow reasonable and non-discriminatory access to BT's networks for suppliers of all telecommunications services." The USTR was reacting to a complaint from US-based broadband outfit, Covad Corporation, which alleged the current situation regarding ULL granted BT an "effective monopoly on the supply of ADSL service until July 1, 2001". Covad alleged that this was in violation of Britain's market access and national treatment commitments and was inconsistent with the Britain's obligations under WTO membership. In effect, it claimed the current rollout timetable would give the monster telco a year's head start in installing ADSL equipment compared to its competitors. A spokesman for the USTR told The Register today that no complaint had been lodged and that none was imminent. "This is a shot across the bow," he said. The USTR will assess the progress of local loop unbundling in Britain and make further recommendations in April 2001, when it next publishes its annual review of telecommunications trade agreements. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
Alibaba swings a large one with STONKING IPO legal bills
Chinese e-commerce beast searches for $21bn from investors
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.