Feeds

Crunch time loom for BT's broadband plans

They better be good

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Ben Verwaayen is facing his first real test as BT’s new CEO.

Two weeks ago he put his reputation on the line by declaring that he would "substantially" reduce the cost of broadband.

Many industry watchers sensed that this signalled a new direction for BT with its future strategy tied to broadband.

Which makes the imminent announcement by the Arsenal-supporting Verwaayen all the more intriguing.

If he gets it wrong then his honeymoon at BT could be cut short. Then he'll really begin to understand what it feels like to fill Sir Peter Bonfield’s shoes.

For Mr Verwaayen has to understand that it's not just about cost – but about availability too.

Alex Boag-Munroe, MD of Cheshire-based computer consultancy, Networking Ahead Limited, is one of many people who've contacted The Register over this issue.

"It's all very well cutting prices," he said, "but that makes no difference to people who still cannot get broadband services even if they wanted to.

"I have ADSL. I have a friend who lives a couple of miles from me, who cannot. He lives a five-minute walk away from a switch. However BT have not enabled this switch for ADSL and have not yet revealed when, if ever, they will."

BT has said that it won't roll-out broadband beyond the 1,000 or so exchanges currently enabled, unless it is commercially viable.

So while DSL is available to around 60 per cent of the population, four in ten people can't get it.

Yesterday, however, BT Retail boss Pierre Danon gave a glimpse of part of BT's strategy by calling on government and business to join a partnership to extend broadband coverage to more rural parts of the UK.

Danon pledged that the company would equip more exchanges with broadband technology if the public and private sectors were prepared to work together to stimulate awareness and demand to make further roll-out commercially viable.

Which is all well and good – but is this really what we are to expect from a company that would lead us all to believe that broadband is its "top priority"?

We shall see. ®

Related Stories

BT urged to slash wholesale DSL prices by £10 a month
BT to slash wholesale broadband costs

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.