Feeds

BT bows to Ofcom pressure

Operational separation prevents full break-up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

BT - the UK's former telecoms monopoly that rivals accused for so long of uncompetitive behaviour - has given its backing to proposals to open up its network to competing operators.

If successful, the measures should given competing telcos the chance to offer consumers real alternatives to a dominant player that has been forced to cut prices by the regulator and badgered to introduce services such as unmetered dial-up net access and broadband.

Although BT has escaped the threat of being broken up, it has signed up the operational separation of the company.

Central to the regulatory deal announced today is the creation of a new Access Services division (ASD) - which will still be part of BT Group but "distinctly separate". With some 30,000 staff, the new ASD will control almost all of the telco's access infrastructure and facilities, including the copper local loop, local exchanges, ducts and other infrastructure.

Due to be set up shortly, it will provide access products - such as line rental and local loop unbundling (LLU) - to all telcos including BT Retail on an equal basis.

Employees of the ASD will even get their own HQ to keep them at arm's length from BT and their pay will be structured in such a way that rewards them for ensuring no company is given preferential treatment. In time, workers will even have their own logos on uniforms and vehicles to highlight their operational separation from BT Group.

An independent Equality of Access Board (EAB), which will ensure that BT plays by the rules.

BT - which has seen its share price rise this morning on the news - said the measures should see regulation focused on key areas and rolled back elsewhere.

"This has been a tough journey but it is important that we have regulation that encourages investment and innovation," said BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland. "The proposed settlement strikes the right balance and every player will benefit from the certainty and clarity it provides." ®

Related stories

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

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.