Feeds

BT wants service obligations 'relaxed'

Oh go on, please

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

BT wants to see the rules that force it to provide certain basic telecoms services relaxed, reports the FT.

Regulator Ofcom is reviewing the Universal Service Obligation (USO) designed to ensure than basic fixed line telecoms services are available to all UK consumers at an affordable price.

These include ensuring that there are public phone boxes, telephone lines capable of delivering dial up net access, low cost schemes to help those on low incomes and special services for people with disabilities.

Although Ofcom appears happy with the way the USO is currently funded - mostly by BT as it happens - it seems the UK's former monopoly isn't so keen.

It wants to see the funding of the USO changed so that other telcos cough up too. It also wants the chance to remove loss-making phone boxes and wants to means test those who opt for its "light" tariff packages.

The UK's dominant provider - which is battling against increased competition in its retail business - is unhappy that it is having to fork out around £70m a year to meet its USO when other telcos are excused, reports the FT.

The UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) - made up of rival telcos including Cable & Wireless, Colt, Energis, NTL and Thus - doesn't believe the current set-up needs changing.

In a statement the industry lobby group said that the current funding arrangements should only be changed if "a cost benefit analysis clearly shows that BT is significantly worse off continuing to supply the USO".

"We do not believe that this is currently the case or is likely to change in the medium term," it said. ®

Related stories

Thieves raid BT exchange
BT workers' union rejects 'derisory' pay offer
Carve up BT, says Energis boss

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?