Feeds

BT still needs to be policed, says industry

Something about old dogs and new tricks

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The UK's telecoms industry has begun to give its first reaction to Ofcom's new deal with BT and appears to welcome the regulator's moves to create a virtual split within the monster telco.

However, while they applaud Ofcom they maintain it must remain vigilant to ensure that BT abides by the new regulatory regime.

Operators argued that this inherent conflict of interest was damaging the industry and consumers.

Ofcom stopped short of launching an Enterprise Act investigation that could have led to the break up of BT as provider of both wholesale and retail services.

Instead, it took a "halfway house" approach securing an operational separation within the former UK monopoly that should, if it works, provide equal access to BT's network.

A spokesman for AOL UK said: "AOL UK's view is that if the detail matches the headlines then this review should open up BT's network to much greater competition. Ofcom should be commended if it can deliver the certainty ISPs and telecoms providers need to invest in the UK telecoms network.

"It is vital, if consumers are to see genuine benefits from this paper agreement, that Ofcom remains vigilant and engaged with the Local Loop Unbundling process on an ongoing basis, and that it also ensures that BT is required to deliver genuinely equal access to both its current network and to the 21CN network initiative.

"In short, Ofcom gets an 'A' for the written paper, let's hope that doesn't slip to a 'C' as a result of a bad practical.

Energis - which has been highly critical of BT's dominance and one of the few operators that believes full structural separation is still needed - also gave its tentative thumbs-up to today's announcement.

"We're optimistic that Ofcom has achieved a settlement that resolves important issues about the structure and incentives of BT and the associated impact on the market," it said in a statement.

"We made clear our support for full structural separation as the only real solution to bring to an end BT's fundamental conflict of interest between its dual roles of competitor and supplier. However if Ofcom's solution addresses the problems it originally identified, we will work hard with both BT and Ofcom to ensure that it is implemented effectively.

"In particular we'll be looking for evidence that Ofcom has the necessary powers of enforcement in the event that BT does not comply with any undertakings."

That point is echoed by Richard Sweet, head of Regulation at Scottish telco Thus. He supports Ofcom's decision not to make an Enterprise Act reference that could lead to the break-up of BT which "would have caused further uncertainty and disruption".

But he added: "However, Ofcom must be prepared to take firm and swift action if BT fails to deliver on its undertakings. The most pressing issue facing industry today is next generation networks, and how to ensure that BT's 21st century network supports full and fair competition." ®

Related stories

BT bows to Ofcom pressure
BT escapes threat of immediate break-up
Ofcom's Telecoms Review 'sewn up by the big boys'
Ofcom update on Telecoms Review due tomorrow
Ofcom threatens BT - report
MPs 'unconvinced' about need to break-up BT
BT tells industry to 'get on with life'
Carve up BT, says Energis boss
MPs scrutinise telecoms review
BT has until June to resolve 'equal access' issues
BT gutted at Ofcom's 'prolonged misbehaviour' allegations
Energis calls for BT break-up
BT DSL price cut undermines LLU competition
BT promises to play fair, in Ofcom appeasement
BT clobbered in Ofcom probe
Rivals warn of BT 'delaying tactics'
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
Tough-talking Ofcom boss slaps BT
BT stands firm against Ofcom
BIG has a pop at BT dominance
BT faces life-changing three months
Stop picking on BT, says rival
Ofcom review 'misses golden opportunity'
Ofcom tells BT: shape up, or split up
Telecoms review? What telecoms review?
BT: Nation's broadband investment in Ofcom's hands
BT 'unlikely' to be broken up

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.