Feeds

Rivals warn of BT 'delaying tactics'

UKCTA alert ahead of Telecoms Review deadline

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

BT's rivals are upping the war of words against the UK's former telecoms monopoly ahead of this week's crucial deadline.

The UK's dominant fixed line telco has until February 3 to give its response to the regulator's demands for "substantive behavioural and organisational changes" within BT and the provision of equal access to its wholesale product range (aka equivalence). Failure to meet the demands set by Ofcom could result in an Enterprise Act investigation which could lead to the giant telco being split in two.

Speaking to the FT David McConnell, chairman of the UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) - a host of telcos including Cable & Wireless, Colt, Energis, NTL and Thus - said that although the industry wanted equivalence to work, there were fears that BT would try to stall. "The concern is that parts of the BT organisation will continue to prevaricate and delay: Ofcom and the industry must not allow itself to be dragged into endless detailed discussions as to what exactly 'equivalence' is," McConnell stated.

Indeed, in a letter to the Sunday Times McConnell said that the views expressed by BT boss Ben Verwaayen a week earlier "both raise alarm and present an incomplete picture of the current broadband market".

"Mr Verwaayen seems to be suggesting that if Ofcom was to reduce its regulatory burden, BT would be able to offer more wholesale broadband variants to 'communities outside the scope of LLU'. We could have welcomed this comment had he also in the same breath embraced the need for BT Wholesale to treat all retail broadband providers equally, in other words, commit his organisation to true competition. UKCTA, Ofcom and British consumers are demanding, quite rightly, nothing less.

He went on: "As history has shown time and again, consumer choice and product innovation depends on the presence of sustainable market competition. What is needed are improved wholesale telecom services that all retail players - not just BT - can use and offer to potential customers. In other words, Ofcom needs to ensure genuine equality of access, not an inequality between BT and its competitors."

Last week Ofcom boss Stephen Carter warned has once again that BT's failure to restructure its business and open up its market to genuine competition would make an enforced structural split of the company a "real possibility". ®

Related stories

BT faces 'bogeyman' if it fails to open market
BT warns of broadband divide ahead of Ofcom review
MPs to scrutinise Ofcom's telecoms review
Ofcom tells BT: shape up, or split up

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.