Feeds

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

Fishing for subsidies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

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

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.