BT focuses on dull old broadband

Shelves sexy TV dream

Broadband is a key priority for BT this year, according to its chairman, Sir Christopher Bland.

So too is defending its traditional phone business from further erosion - a process BT Retail CEO, Pierre Danon, appears to have started.

However, this much-welcomed reassertion of core principles from the monster telco is unlikely to steal today's headlines. Instead, they are more likely to focus on Sir Christopher's decision to cool his ambitions for BT to become a broadcaster.

In the Sunday Times last week he said BT could branch out into the delivery of broadcast content much like BSkyB or the cable companies.

Today though, the FT reports that Sir Christopher has effectively put the issue on the back burner amid concerns from shareholders.

"We will not become a full vertically integrated media company, like BSkyB and News Corp," the FT reports him as saying.

Furthermore, there is no budget available this year to fund any necessary network upgrade that would enable broadcast quality pictures to be transmitted over copper cable.

Phew-ee.

You can see it now - the media bosses at BSkyB, the BBC, ITV and every other broadcast outfit in the land must be breathing a collective sigh of relief that they won't have to compete with "BTTV". After all, with BT's recent track record of "big ideas" it couldn't fail, could it?

Instead, it has to concentrate on dull old things like making sure telephones work and providing fast Internet access that people can rely on.

How boring. ®

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