Feeds

Tories will force BT to open up ducts to rivals

BT already prepping for broadband colonoscopy

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Tories continued their 21st Century bread and circuses election campaign yesterday, pledging once again to jack-up broadband speeds in the UK.

This time, Jeremy Hunt, the party's culture spokesman, told the FT that a Tory government would force BT to open its cable ducts to rivals to speed the rollout of new networks - a day after BT said it planned to do just that.

Hunt said that should the party come to power, it would redraw the regulatory regime to make BT open up its network and encourage rivals to pick up the baton and provide new services.

"What we are doing, I am absolutely sure, is increase the competitive intensity in the market between the major players, and that will stimulate much more investment," he told the paper.

Hunt did not identify potential re-ducters, though it's fair to assume BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse - both firms with the ear of Tory top brass - would be on his list.

"If you talk to the other players in the market, there is a willingness to invest substantial sums of money," said Hunt.

Opening BT's system up to other players would give the incumbent's rivals a quick and easy way to roll out their own fibre, without the need to bring the country's road network to a shuddering halt.

Hunt also lambasted BT's own network expansion plans, which do not promise fibre to the home, putting a cap on future speed growth.

He said the Tories would, as promised, scrap Labour's broadband tax, which is intended to fund the rollout of broadband in rural areas.

Instead, the Tories would use part of the BBC licence fee to complete the rollout. Which of course, has the benefit of looking like a tax reduction while paring back the [supposedly] Labour-loving public service broadcaster.

BT appears to have already resigned itself to a colonoscopy from its rivals and the Tories. The day before Hunt's interview, the FT quoted CEO Ian Livingston as saying it had been in discussion with Ofcom since last year.

"Although it’s unlikely to be the silver bullet to get fibre to every home, open access to all ducts, not just ours, might help BT and others extend coverage and so we would like to see a future government support such a move,” said Livingstone. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.