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Universal Service Oh... forget the Obligation. BT offers to stump up £600m for 10Mbps

BT has offered to stump up £600m to provide ubiquitous minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps by 2022. If the proposal is accepted, it will render the government's plans for a legal universal service obligation, allowing customers to demand speeds of 10Mbps, redundant. Under the plans, BT would provide 10Mpbs to 99 per cent of …
Kat Hall, 31 Jul 2017

Profits plunge 40% as BT coughs up £225m to avoid court battle

BT's profits plunged 42 per cent to £418m for the first quarter, as the former state monopoly paid off £225m in settlements in relation to the accounting scandal in Italy. The biz coughed up the cash rather than go to court with Deutsche Telekom and Orange, after it wrote down the value of its Italian unit by £530m in January …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2017

Openreach asks UK what it thinks about 10 million 'full fibre' connections

Openreach has launched a consultation seeking input from industry to create "full fibre" broadband in Blighty - part of its new cuddly, collaborative approach post legal separation from BT. Under its proposals, the body could roll out fibre to 10 million premises by 2025. Openreach under BT had committed to laying two million …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2017

Ofcom creates watchdog specifically to make sure Openreach is behaving

Brit comms regulator Ofcom has created a dedicated Openreach Monitoring Unit, in a move reminiscent of the naughty kid at school being forced to sit next to the teacher. The body will watch Openreach to ensure it delivers progress towards its network division becoming legally separate from BT, following the outcome of the …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017
BT Openreach van

Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

Openreach has finally started removing BT's logo from its 22,000 vans, "unveiling its new branding" four months after the former UK state monopoly agreed to a legal separation of its broadband division. The changes will begin this month and continue over the next four years on all vehicles, customer-facing websites and apps, …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2017
Hand pulls on a latex rubber glove (disposable). Photo by shutterstock

UK regulator probes PwC over BT's Italian accountancy scandal

The UK's Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is to investigate PwC's audits of BT, following an accountancy scandal at the telecom firm's Italian unit. The accountancy regulator will probe PwC's consolidated financial statements of BT Group for the years ended 31 March 2015 to 2017, in the wake of the scandal which forced a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2017

BT problems impact Department for Work and Pensions services

Users trying to get through to the Child Maintenance Service have been unable to do so for the past two days because of problems with BT. A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for the agency, said the department has been suffering some difficulties "caused by problems experienced by …
Kat Hall, 21 Jun 2017
Ryan Reynolds dangles off a helicopter for BT

BT's Ryan Reynolds helicopter Wi-Fi ads 'misleading', thunders ad watchdog

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has rapped BT on the knuckles for claiming its Smart Hub delivered "the UK's most powerful Wi‑Fi signal". Following a barrage of complaints from competitors and the general public, the watchdog ruled that the telco broke 12 ASA rules with its series of ads, featuring Deadpool star Ryan …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Jun 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Oh snap! Election's made Brexit uncertainty worse for biz, says BT CEO

The outcome of the general election has created greater uncertainty over the impact of Brexit on the telecommunications sector, BT chief exec Gavin Patterson has said. "It is pretty uncertain. What we were expecting this time last week and where we are now.. if it was unstable and uncertain this time last week, it’s gone up a …
Kat Hall, 13 Jun 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

Former state monopoly BT is considering shutting its "gold-plated" defined-benefit pension scheme in an attempt to close its looming deficit. BT's pension scheme deficit in 2016 is thought to be in the region £14bn, up from £10bn in 2015. Next month the telecoms giant will enter negotiations with pension trustees about the …
Kat Hall, 31 May 2017
Fibre, image via Shutterstock

Openreach hints at fibre network strategy rethink

Analysis "Collaboration" was the watchword from Openreach chief exec Clive Selley during BT's results this morning. An interesting expression given accusations it previously used its market heft to the disadvantage of its communications providers. Of course, that was before British telco BT finally agreed to a legal separation of its …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

BT to axe 4,000 jobs across the globe

BT is to axe 4,000 jobs at worldwide, with profits plunging 19 per cent to £2.4bn during a "challenging" 2016/17 financial year for the former state monopoly. The roles will mainly cover managerial and back office areas, with the company expecting to shave off £300m over two years. This comes a day after industry sources were …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2017
Handshake

People are talking about a BT Global Services sell-off again

Analysis BT Global Services remains the problem child for the former state monopoly and something has got to give: sales generated by the division continue to go in the wrong direction (in part due to the decline in global outsourcing), bucking the upward swing across the wider group. And while historic talk in the industry that BTGS …
Kat Hall, 10 May 2017
Man reluctantly pays up. Illustration by shutterstock

BT to pay £22m in interest to rivals in ethernet overcharging case

BT has been ordered to dig into its pocket and pay rivals £22m in interest following its overcharged for its backhaul ethernet services between 2006-2011. In December 2012, BT was ordered to pay Cable & Wireless Worldwide (now Vodafone), Sky, TalkTalk, Verizon and Virgin £95m after it was found to have overcharged its British …
Kat Hall, 5 May 2017
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Ofcom chisels away at BT Openreach's cold, dead hands

Ofcom has set out exactly how it plans to prise open BT's grip on the UK's telecoms infrastructure, in a move designed to make it easier for competing telcos to install fibre broadband connections. "Ofcom wants to ensure all providers can lay fibre in BT's ducts as easily as BT itself," said an Ofcom statement. "So we intend …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Apr 2017

BT's spam blocker IDs accident claims as top nuisance call

BT's free spam filter, launched earlier this year to crack down on nuisance calls, has identified accident claims as the worst offender for nuisance calls with 12 million made in the first week of March. Some two million customers have signed up to the BT Call Protect service, which it says has diverted 65 per cent of calls to …
Kat Hall, 12 Apr 2017
BT Tower photo via Shutterstock

Ofcom pressuring BT to slash wholesale prices for superfast broadband

Ofcom could force BT's Openreach to slash the prices it charges rivals for access to its superfast broadband network under plans that could shave millions off consumer bills. With proposals published by the watchdog today intended to encourage "full-fibre" investment, Ofcom said it wants to cut the wholesale price that …
Kat Hall, 31 Mar 2017
child browsing on tablet outdoors. pHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK

EE scrap connection fee... to hike broadband and telly packages

Mobile operator EE has confirmed it will be hiking the prices of new customer contracts on its broadband and TV packages. A spokeswoman said the "small change to the price" to its broadband and EETV packages reflect an investment in content. She said: "This will not affect the price that existing customers pay for their …
Kat Hall, 28 Mar 2017

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