Feeds

BT could jack up line charges to fill pensions hole

Ofcom consults - unbundlers set to scream

Security for virtualized datacentres

Ofcom is pondering allowing BT to jack up its line charges to allow it to lighten the £9bn pension deficit hanging round the neck of the former state-owned telco.

The possible move by the regulator could see OpenReach, BT's wholesale arm, up its charges by as much as 4 per cent.

This would in turn land on those companies which lease lines form BT, such as Carphone Warehouse and Sky, forcing them to ramp up their own prices, or look for cost cuttings.

BT has long grappled with a pension fund that has liabilities of around £40bn, and which is currently about £9bn short of what it needs to keep former British Telecom/GPO workers off the breadline.

Ofcom said, "Because of the financial significance of these payments in the case of BT, Ofcom considers it right to consult on whether or how such payments should be factored in when setting BT's regulated prices."

It said it was launching the consultation, "to promote a broad debate on whether it is appropriate for Ofcom to maintain or change the approach it currently takes to the treatment of BT's pension costs."

It added, "So far Ofcom has not taken a view on whether it is appropriate or not to change its current principles in relation to pension costs. If Ofcom changes its approach, any adjustments in wholesale charges would not necessarily be felt proportionately by consumers."

This suggests the regulator is leaving open the possibility that those third party providers might be expected to take up some of the slack themselves.

Afterall, they do benefit from a network that was built and maintained over the course of many years by an army of BT engineers who are either now happily ensconced in retirement, or pondering wondering they'll get to retirement before their jobs are outsourced. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.