Feeds

MPs prepare for broadband inquiry

Seconds out...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The UK's leading names in broadband are limbering up for a star billing in front of a all party parliamentary committee next Tuesday.

On the agenda is an inquiry into the state of "Broadband Britain" with BT, Oftel, AOL UK, Freeserve and others slugging it out to put forward their positions.

The Trade and Industry Committee, chaired by Labour MP Martin O'Neill, has set itself a broad remit for its investigation. However, it's likely to seek more detail on the roll-out of broadband and examine the effect of competition on the broadband landscape against the backdrop of BT's own roll-out of ADSL and its supporting marketing operation.

Despite long-running criticism from rivals and lobby groups, BT is likely to mount a robust defence of its handling of the roll-out of broadband and its position as a dominant player. It's expected to argue that the UK has the fastest-growing and most competitive market in Europe, coming second only to Germany in terms of size.

And if an interview with BT chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, in last week's Independent on Sunday is anything to go by, it will also call for a relaxed regulatory regime from new communications regulator Ofcom. In that interview Sir Christopher called for an end to the "complaints culture" that results in some alternative carriers "using complaints as a method of doing business".

It seems BT is fed up with a culture of "whinging and whining", as one insider described it, that drones on from the sector.

For its part, telecoms regulator Oftel, which is to be replaced by Ofcom at the end of the year, is unlikely to argue that it has failed to bring competition to the UK's broadband sector. Indeed, this week Oftel boss David Edmonds told the FT that he was happy with current wholesale cost levels for broadband and content with the state of the broadband landscape in the UK. His words come ahead of review into the UK's broadband market due out next month.

From that interview, it seems that Oftel regards that it's done its work. Of course, that's not to say that Oftel won't be challenged on that assumption by MPs.
Indeed, those leading the verbal charge are expected to be Freeserve and AOL UK, who are likely to call for greater competition and a relaxation of BT's stranglehold on the delivery of ADSL. No doubt they will also express their views on how broadband can be rolled out to those punters in rural areas.

It'll then be up to the MPs to take a view of the evidence supplied. ®

Related Stories

Oftel unlikely to demand broadband cost cuts - report
MPs to investigate 'Broadband Britain'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
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.
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?