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C&W take over Bulldogs barking...
Wednesday 14 July 2004 16:16:00 by Andrew Ferguson

ISPReview has quotes from The Independent newspaper made by Francesco Caio, the Chief Executive of C&W. In the quotes the accusation is made that BT has been 'stifling competition'.

Predictably the BT response is 'A spokesman for BT said that Mr Caio was guilty of an "old-fashioned moan" and had got his facts wrong'. Which if you look at some what was said actually sounds fair. To quote Francesco Caio, 'BT has around 1 million DSL subscribers, many sold through businesses like us that buy their product wholesale and resell it.' Since he is talking about reselling, one assumes he means BT Wholesale who passed the 1 million ADSL user mark back in July 2003.

The BT Retail ISPs are at around one million users currently though with around 42% of market share, followed by AOL (13 per cent), Tiscali (10 per cent), Wanadoo (8 per cent) and Pipex (5 per cent) (source). Either we are looking at a misquote, or someone truly has the facts wrong. Later in the item, the figure of 2m DSL subscribers is mentioned for the UK, saying this is lower than other countries in Europe, the UK is actually at around 2.45 million DSL users, plus around 1.5 million cable users. Lets hope that other advice given to MPs is more accurate.

One must wonder precisely what was meant by '[BT] have failed to provide either certainty of supply or pricing', the wholesale pricing of ADSL is pretty clear, and even the new CBC & UBC (capacity & usage based charging) models while complex to end users should not take a large company long to work out.

C&Ws presence in the UK DSL market was heightened recently with its purchase of Bulldog, which raised the hope of further LLU roll-out across the UK. Lets hope that these comments are not just a good old fashioned moan. Unfortunately if an extensive LLU roll-out was just around the corner, one would have thought some hints would have been dropped.


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