Feeds

Oftel probes another BT ADSL install complaint

This time it's Freeserve that's unhappy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Oftel is investigating a complaint that BT is subsidising installation costs for its multi-user business class broadband service.

Freeserve lodged the complaint with the telecoms regulator earlier this month urging it to consider whether this represented an unfair cross-subsidy and breach of BT's licence.

The regulator confirmed that it has received the complaint and is investigating.

The complaint centres on cut price installation costs for BTopenworld's multi-user Business 500 Plus ADSL product which Freeserve alleges is not covered by any wholesale price reductions.

In September BT announced its intention to halve the wholesale cost of installing its popular IPStream 500 product, from £150 to £75, in the three months running up to Christmas.

BTopenworld announced it would pass on the cuts which applied to its single-user Home 500 and Business 500 ADSL products.

However, BTopenworld also extended the cut-price installation offer to its Business 500 Plus product even though there was no corresponding cut in the wholesale offering for this service.

The result was an angry letter from Freeserve in which it claims BT is in "possible breach of the prohibition of abuse of dominant market position".

Said Paul Barker of Freeserve: "We have no problem with seeing wholesale prices come down. But you have to question BT's commercial sustainability when it absorbs price cuts of this nature."

Referring to Freeserve's market dominance in the dial-up sector he added: "We killed them on narrowband - we just want to compete on a level playing field with broadband."

A spokesman for BTopenworld was not aware of the complaint but insisted that it was not guilty of cross-subsidy since the promotional funding came from within BTopenworld.

Recently, Bulldog Communications complained to Oftel that BT's wholesale cuts in installation prices is unfair to those telcos offering unbundled services.

Privately, BT is understood to be getting more and more exasperated that the regulatory process is stifling its attempts to cut prices for broadband users.

The line from Oftel is that it welcomes price cuts as long as they are not anti-competitive. ®

Related Story

BT faces probe into cut-price ADSL installs

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
prev story

Whitepapers

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 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.