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An End to BT Providing ADSL?
Friday 11 May 2001 19:04:00 by John Hunt

BT have recently stated intentions of a breakup of their business sections due to a total debt of £30bn over the last 18months, as has been documented well the last two days in the FT. The debt is largely due to BT trying to become the leading provider of thrid generation mobile phones. After the introduction of a new Chairman, Sir Christopher Bland (of the BBC), in the last two weeks, following the resignation of Sir Ian Vallance at that role, BT have come to the senses that they are going nowhere fast except down.

The split is set to leave 3 sections:

BT Wireless consisting of BT Cellnet, Viag Interkom in Germany, Telfort in the Netherlands and Esat Digifone in Ireland as well as the portal Genie;

Future BT which will be a holding company for the rest of BT's businesses. It will have two main elements: BT retail, and BT wholesale which is set to take charge of BT's ADSL rollout. Along side these two are BTopenworld - which was looking to be a standalone company, but being lossmaking is likely to be enclosed under the Future BT title - as well as the part ownership of Concert (expected to be bought up totally by the other partner AT&T), and BTIgnite which will probably largely be sold to AT&T also;

Yell the online Yellow pages for the UK is also being sold or demerged as per original plans.

Where does this leave ADSL for the UK market?

If it is shifted over to BT Wholesale, little effect will probably be seen. If it goes with BTIgnite to AT&T, we could see a whole different future for ADSL as provided by BT. Lower prices? Faster services? Only time will tell.

Views and comments are always welcomed in the message boards.

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