Feeds

Brussels muscles in on BT universal service rules

Bill and Ted's Bogus Green Paper

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The European Commission has announced a review of the regulations that compel telcos to provide public call boxes that could lead to them being scrapped.

The move will be celebrated at BT, which has been lobbying for years to scale back its public latrine maintenance business.

Ofcom last published the results of a consultation on Universal Service Obligations (USOs) in March 2006. It said public call boxes were still essential for vulnerable and disabled people.

Despite this recent ruling, a Green Paper from Brussels calls for a "wide-ranging debate" on all obligations under USOs, which also include provision to low-income households and providing internet access at at least 28Kbit/s to rural areas.

Currently, local councils can veto any attempt by BT (or Kingston Communications in Hull) to remove the last phonebox in an area. BT told the Ofcom consultation this was unduly restrictive, since revenues had nosedived.

The USO agreement was a key part of the deal that saw BT go private in 1984 with an intact network monopoly. Since then competition has increased as other fixed-line operators have been allowed to use the lines, but who can choose to provide services only where most profitable. BT has also argued that mobile operators should share the cost of maintaining phone boxes. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?