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BT urges reasoned debate on broadband

Let's not get 'disconnected from reality', says Bonfield

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Sir Peter Bonfield, chief exec of BT, has warned that the public debate over broadband has become "disconnected from reality" and that hi-speed Net access is not "the answer to everything".

He said that Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) had dominated the agenda when it was just a minor part of the broadband revolution.

And he absolved BT of all blame regarding the roll-out of broadband claiming that the monster telco wants to promote LLU - not hold it back.

Delivering the 2001 Hinton Lecture at the Royal Academy of Engineering last night Sir Peter said: "...the public debate over broadband has become disconnected from reality.

"Local loop unbundling has dominated the debate, when it is a relatively minor aspect of the process - and one that BT wants to encourage, not discourage," he said.

No doubt had Sir Peter been addressing an audience of telecoms professionals he may well have had to pause at this point to let the howls of laughter and derision die down.

However, he continued uninterrupted: "Supply of broadband has been a preoccupation, when demand is the main long-term issue."

"And finally, there has been a huge focus on BT and DSL, when broadband is bigger than any on supplier or any one technology," he said.

Finishing his lecture Sir Peter said: "I would urge all those involved [in broadband Britain] to maintain an unswerving faith in broadband communications to transform the way we live, work, learn and communicate."

Which is rousing stuff indeed - if only we had faith in BT to deliver. ®

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