Feeds

BT warns of broadband divide ahead of Ofcom review

Getting retaliation in first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.