Feeds

UK needs greater wholesale broadband competition

BT too dominant, says regulator

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

BT faces a new challenge in the New Year after the UK's new communications watchdog - Ofcom - said it wants to see more competition in the wholesale broadband access market after deciding that the UK's monster telco is too dominant.

In a consultation document published today, Ofcom found that the UK's broadband market has developed in the last couple of years with different technologies and operators providing high-speed Net access.

"However, it is also clear that at this point in time there is a national and distinct market in wholesale broadband services, and that BT is the dominant provider of those services," said Ofcom.

As a result, Ofcom wants to use its regulatory muscle to open-up the wholesale market. In particular, it wants to see a greater margin between two key BT wholesale broadband products - IPStream and Datastream.

BT's wholesale IPStream product provides an end-to-end ADSL service solely using BT's network and resold by many ISPs.

Datastream products, on the other hand, enable operators to use competing national networks from alternative rival carriers to provide services.

In short, Ofcom wants to see a greater cost margin between the two products to allow rival operators to offer competitive services using their own networks.

Said Ofcom in a statement: "BT should be required to provide its Datastream products on a retail minus basis. A requirement to offer Datastream at a retail minus price means in particular that BT must allow sufficient margin between the price it charges for its IPStream products and the price charged for the Datastream products."

Ofcom chief exec Stephen Carter said: "Broadband Britain needs broadband competition at the wholesale level as well as the retail level. Ofcom believes that these proposals will create the right balance of certainty, alternative supply and incentives to invest."

A spokesman for BT told The Register that the UK already has one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world and that it will defend its corner "very strongly".

Rival operators have long called for greater competition. Only last month, broadband industry lobby group, BIG, said that greater wholesale competition within the UK's broadband market would give the UK economy a £22 billion shot in the arm.

At the time, Energis boss John Pluthero said: "If we want an innovative, dynamic broadband market delivering huge economic benefit to the UK, genuine wholesale competition is needed. ®

Related Story

Competitive broadband could add £22bn to UK economy

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
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
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
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'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
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.