Feeds

BT warns of broadband divide ahead of Ofcom review

Getting retaliation in first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

More than half of UK homes and businesses could be left without advanced broadband services if Ofcom continues to press ahead with plans to make the UK's telecoms sector more competitive, BT boss Ben Verwaayen warns.

Interviewed in The Sunday Times, Verwaayen argues that the regulator's preference for local loop unbundling (LLU) will lead to a new digital divide with rival telcos cherry-picking the most lucrative exchanges.

As a result, highly populated urban exchanges are likely to see investment from rivals. The same cannot be said for the vast majority of exchanges, though. Verwaayen estimates that all but 600 exchanges are uneconomic for LLU.

He told The Sunday Times: "What if your business is in Swansea or Southampton? We need to make sure that telecoms are available wherever business is located."

His comments come just two weeks before the latest phase of the UK's telecoms review.

In November, Ofcom published phase two of its Strategic Review of Telecommunications. While it rejected calls to break up BT, Ofcom warned that unless it made "substantive behavioural and organisational changes" - including giving rivals equal access to its wholesale product range - then it would take action against the UK's dominant fixed line telco.

BT's reply to that review is due next week but already industry insiders have told The Register that they fear Ofcom will "bottle it" and fail to impose the necessary changes needed to make the UK's telecoms sector more competitive.

Instead, sources believe that an inquiry by the Trade and Industry Select Committee (TISC) due next month will provide a platform to assess Ofcom's progress. Ahead of a widely anticipated Spring general election, it's thought that the intervention of MPs into the broadband debate could make an interesting issue for voters. ®

Related stories

Ofcom tells BT: shape up, or split up
MPs to scrutinise Ofcom's telecoms review
Tough-talking Ofcom boss slaps BT
BT stands firm against Ofcom
BT, Kingston face EC illegal state aid probe
Easynet upbeat about wholesale LLU
LLU dogged by 'significant operational problems'
LLU is 'uneconomic', says Energis

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.