Feeds

UK broadband prices ‘too high’ says BT Retail boss

At least we agree on something

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The chief exec of BT Retail has admitted that the cost of broadband in the UK is too high.

Taking part earlier today in an online chat session discussing the "Digital Divide" Pierre Danon said there is the desire within BT to cut costs.

Asked whether BT had any plans to cut its prices Monsieur Danon said: "Yes there are. I agree with you that today consumer prices especially are too high.

"There is today an immense effort within BT to reduce costs - for example, we are planning to introduce self-install within a couple of months.

"We have to reduce costs before we reduce prices which I'm sure some operators in the UK or the world are not doing.

"We have already shown to the market that we intend to reduce price by reducing our wholesale price a couple of months ago. You can be sure we will continue," he said.

He added later on: "I do not intend to make any price announcements today but we are committed to significantly improving the overall attractiveness of the service and cost is just one element. Watch this space!!"

Elsewhere, he gave a cool response to suggestions that BT's universal service obligations (USO) should be expanded to include broadband, arguing that while he supported the USO, extending its scope would have a "detrimental effect on BT's ability to continue to offer a range of broadband services at an economic rate".

He continued: "But I do share your frustration that broadband take-up is lower in the UK than elsewhere. This is partly because we already have low Internet access prices but partly because of the way we are regulated."

This assessment of slack broadband demand - echoed by BT chief exec, Sir Peter Bonfield last week - is at odds with independent assessments of problems facing the UK's broadband marketplace.

Unpublished research conducted by Analysys on behalf on the Government's Broadband Stakeholder's group seen by The Register suggests that it is the three million or so unmetered Net access users who will drive demand for broadband.

Far from being an impediment to the take-up of broadband - as expressed by Monsieur Danon - flat-fee services will create a stepping stone for consumers between pay-as-you-go services and always on broadband.

The report says: "The high levels of take-up of flat rate services in the UK indicate that if the [price] gap between broadband and flat rate user is reduced, or compelling applications emerge, then the UK could see a fast migration of flat-rate users (who are experienced in paying monthly fees) over to broadband." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.