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Energis to head broadband consortium?

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Energis is reportedly heading a consortium of telcos to offer broadband services to businesses in Britain.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, this consortium - which could include Cable & Wireless - would create a formidable rival to BT in providing broadband services for the SME market in Britain.

Operators would pool their resources and share costs in a bid to give a much-needed fillip to broadband in Britain.

However, it appears that the progress of the consortium could be hampered by protracted negotiations with BT concerning the introduction of a new wholesale DSL product.

In March telecoms regulator, Oftel, gave Energis, Thus and BT six weeks to negotiate a settlement concerning DSL interconnection.

Energis and Thus had complained that BT's existing wholesale DSL offering was end-to-end product that prevented them from being able to route services onto their own networks.

While it appears both parties have agreed the terms of a new wholesale DSL interconnect product, it appears that they have failed to agree on the price.

BT is reportedly demanding more than £300 person per year for the privilege - the telcos are only offering £100.

Energis is reportedly close to calling in the winged watchdog to rule on the disagreement and break the deadlock.

No one from Energis was available for comment by press time.

A spokeswoman for Oftel said that no formal notification from either side had been received as yet.

However, if the regulator is called in there is only one thing that is certain - more delay. ®

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