Feeds

US-UK broadband trade war threat recedes

'Warning shots across the bow'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'
Plus: 'EE, how shocking, ANOTHER problem I face with your service'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.