Feeds

BT's trigger-less 400 exchanges – ‘cynical’

Fishing for subsidies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

BT's decision not to give trigger levels to more than 400 exchanges has been described as "cynical" by a leading UK broadband pressure group.

Broadband4Britain (B4B) reckons the move is a ploy by BT to try and win public money to help support its roll-out of broadband.

B4B spokesman Andy Williams told The Register: "I think this is a cynical move by BT to win subsidies. It is fishing for grants and public money to upgrade these exchanges."

And he urged other operators to take the lead and service the demand for broadband that BT so far refuses to meet.

BT's broadband registration scheme is meant to map demand for broadband in areas currently not wired up to high-speed Net access. The theory is that if enough people register their interest, BT will invest the cash needed to convert their exchange to DSL.

However, the scheme is dependent on the setting of a "trigger level" - a set number of users needed to pay for the upgrade of an exchange. Without it, exchanges cannot be upgraded regardless of the interest.

Earlier this week ADSL Guide reported that BT Wholesale had added a further 322 exchanges to the 100 or so it currently regards as commercially unviable to convert to broadband. In other words, these exchanges do not have a level of demand set that would trigger BT investment.

And it means that even though several hundred people per exchange are prepared to pay for broadband, BT has decided that this is not enough - at the moment - to cover the cost of converting the exchange.

B4B's attack is the latest in an ongoing row over the cost of converting exchanges to DSL. Last year, the independent pressure group consulted independent analysts, industry experts and equipment suppliers and concluded that any local telephone exchange in the UK can be affordably "broadband-enabled" with just 50 paying customers.

Even at this level B4B reckoned BT would see a "rapid pay-back on [its] capital investment".

A spokeswoman for BT insisted that the telco is still looking at other ways to convert these 400 or so exchanges to DSL including teaming up with public sector organisations to help offset investment costs. Indeed, BT could be about to announce plans along these lines.

Said the spokeswoman: "We haven't ruled out setting triggers for these exchanges. We're actively looking at what more can be done. For anyone to suggest we are sitting back and waiting for funding is wrong." ®

Related Story

BT scoffs at broadband upgrade figures

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.