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Ofcom/OTA attacked by Telecommunication Consultant
Wednesday 15 November 2006 09:25:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Brian Powell who works as an Independent Telecommunication Consultant has attacked the OTA and Ofcom. His open letter can be read over at Comms Business.

Mr Powell feels that the job of getting broadband to the masses is not happening at the speed that customers require. We assume that he means broadband in the sense of a service a lot faster than what in theory is available to something like 99% of households in the UK. What has been significant in the last year or so, is the lack of attacks on the BT Group from the unbundling operators, most seem to be getting on with the job of marketing the service to consumers and to a lesser extent businesses.

What we feel is a bit confusing in the letter is that nothing is mentioned of the near six million xDSL connections that are not with BT Retail, but rather sold by BT Wholesale to more than a hundred broadband providers. Another key point is that ntl:Telewest are practically matching BT Retail in terms of the numbers of broadband users. This means BT Retail should not be getting an easy ride, unless the custom it is getting is from people who simply buy a product from the first shop they go into without checking what others have to offer.

It is important to note that we are not saying Ofcom is perfect in how it regulates things, but with too much regulation BT may roll over and die, and given that unbundling is very unlikely to ever reach more than 70% of households, a slower and weaker set of BT products would not be good. France is a good example, of around 12,000 telephone exchanges around 11,000 are enabled for broadband and are in advance of the UK in that these are supplying ADSL2+, but the LLU market is concentrated in the cities are large towns with around 1200 exchanges offering unbundled services.

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