BIG is a consortium of competitors to BT, and comprises of Brightview, Cable & Wireless, Centrica, Energis, Wanadoo and Tiscali. They have issued a joint press release about what they want from the UK Broadband market, the full release located here.
The first notable thing in the press release, is that while they talk about a competitive broadband market, they immediately sweep aside NTL and Telewest services by only looking at the BT Group. The consortium would like to see a level playing field with 'true equality of access', which we would assume means that migrations between all the various BT Wholesale ADSL products was possible. Migrations improved earlier this year, but it is still not possible to migrate between all the BT Wholesale ADSL products. The other area we presume that is a concern, is the costs of LLU, and the time BT takes to hand over the room/space in an exchange for a LLU operator.
There is a call for short term measures to improve competition, the danger with regulatory intervention there, is that is may the long term investment plans, due to bring uncertainty to the market. If this means delays to upgrades on the BT core network, the push for competition now may cause problems in years to come. Far too often, companies talk about wanting competition and level playing fields, but if they ever find a market sector they can dominate the opposite occurs. Ofcom needs to be careful that it does not just act in a way that will benefit companies shareholders, but actually produce a noticeable difference to the UK broadband market.
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