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EU makes promise of cheaper and better telecoms services
Wednesday 14 November 2007 10:34:24 by Andrew Ferguson

Is the writing on the wall for Ofcom? 500 million consumers across the EU are to benefit from a single telecoms market that operates across borders. We originally spotted this major change in the Yorkshire Post.

"From today onwards, a single market without borders for Europe's telecoms operators and consumers is no longer only a dream,...

Telecoms is a field where our single market can bring about very concrete results for every citizen in terms of more choice and lower prices, whether for mobile phones or for broadband Internet connections.

At the same time, a single market with 500 million consumers opens new opportunities for telecoms operators - if Europe helps to ensure effective competition and consistent rules of the game. This is why we act today."

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso

The full press release has more detail on this new legislation that if approved could take effect from 2010. PublicTechnology.net has also covered the item and gives the breakdown for which markets the EU believes competition is not yet effective.

  • Access to the fixed telephone network
  • Call origination on the fixed telephone network
  • Call termination on individual fixed telephone networks
  • Wholesale access to the local loop
  • Wholesale broadband access
  • Wholesale terminating segments of leased lines
  • Voice call termination on individual mobile networks

A major benefit of the legislation for consumers would be the right to switch telecoms operators within a day, and a right to transparent and comparable price information. It seems the various national regulators will continue to exist, but a super EU-wide regulator will exist and more independent watchdogs will be created to keep on eye on how close the countries regulator and dominant operator is.

Whether the UK needs yet another regulator and more watchdogs is very much open to debate. Regulation and competition has already brought about the creation of Openreach, and one perhaps unexpected side effect for consumers is that Openreach is charging for more individual jobs including fault finding visits. If EU regulation was to drive the headline price of broadband lower in the UK without there being real price savings behind the scenes it is likely providers and wholesalers would recoup costs through other methods, perhaps stricter usage allowances or charging for items that currently are bundled with many connections such as an email account.

The UK already has a variety of European telecoms operators offering services in the UK; Tiscali (Bulldog, Pipex, Nildram, F2S) , Telefonica (O2, Be), France Telecom (Orange). Which suggests to some extent the wholesale services in the UK are working and attracting companies. The retail broadband market is also such that Virgin Media and BT Retail are pretty much neck and neck in terms of market dominance.

The biggest concern is that pan-European regulation may make the task of getting effective broadband to people in the areas of the UK where there is little money to be made an even harder task. All too often when large bodies pass regulations they look at the needs of the many, rather than the needs of the few.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Ive commented on this before the sooner we have a regulator/s with balls the better, ofcom are as good as useless, especially when you have issues trying to leave an ISP. I personally cant wait for the iron fist approach which puts some providers in their place.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
Providers like those who won't unbundle more exchanges as they say there is no profit in it for example ?
Any news on letting anyone wanting to provide a competing service use your office space for free by the way ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Providers like those who won't unbundle more exchanges as they say there is no profit in it for example ?"
Yep those ones, also ones that make it a pain to leave, those that lie to the customer, those that over bill you, infact broadband as a whole is in such a state here i couldnt name one perfect ISP.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Any news on letting anyone wanting to provide a competing service use your office space for free by the way ?"
The issue (if i think im right in what you are previously refering to) was never about letting them use it for free, it was about how BT refuse to pay the owner of the estate to start digging holes see they could lay there own cables, Virgin media have there system on the estate (they must of paid whatever was asked for) BT on the other hand wont, then again i dont blame them as the currect system offers vastly superior speed to price ratio over anything BT could offer.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
And again in English?

My point was that in the comments for the O2 hundred day trial story you said quote "Why should a independant LLU broadband supplier be forced to give BT more money, just to use their exchange?" I then asked if you would allow any company competing against you to use your premises free of charge, which is basically what you say BT should allow LLU operators to do.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I said nothing of the sort, i said if a LLU company does not want to roll out their services to certain exchanges they shouldnt be FORCED into it.
BT rightly and fairly make a charge to LLU providers to use a BT exchange, what wouldnt be right or fair is FORCING LLU providers to roll out their services to areas they dont want to and dont choose to.
If a LLU provider has to pay BT to use a BT exchange then it should remain upto the LLU provider where they spend their money.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I didnt say anywhere they should be allowed in BT exchanges for free... simply they shouldnt be forced to roll out beyond what they want as it costs them money.
people can read http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3240-o2-broadband-launched-with-100-day-guarantee.html
to see what i said any time they wish.
Also if you are going to force a LLU provider to pay BT and have no choice in what exchanges a LLU provider wants to unbundle than perhaps we need rules to force BT to spend money rolling out services like fibre.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
Is that the sound of a tune being changed ? First you agree that regulators should get tough on providers who cherry pick and then you are claiming you meant previously that these providers shouldn't be forced not to cherry pick. Which is it ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Theres a difference between Providers who won't unbundle more exchanges as they say there is no profit in it, to forcing providers to unbundle exchanges and having NO CHOICE AT ALL.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago

Just like with BT... They still in parts of the country can not provide MAX products to a few, simply cos its not possible. What would be the point in saying to an LLU provider you must unbundle the hells gate exchange if nobody connected to it would see a speed improvement?
Or are you saying that doesnt matter and they should just do it anyway even though neither the provider or people connected to that exchange would benefit? I dont think you have thought this through.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
Oh the twists you have to go through when you realise you are contradicting yourself.

So nobody at Hell's Gate would see a speed, I presume you mean connection rate, improvement, your point ? What if they get the same connection speed but better throughput for less per month and a better helpdesk ?

If you advertise nationally, IMNSHO, you should provide nationally, if you only want to serve a small area, only advertise to that area.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Oh the twists you have to go through when you realise you are contradicting yourself."
Maybe in your opinion but as i pointed out previously people can read what i typed in the other news item anytime they want rather than have you try to manipulate my words.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"So nobody at Hell's Gate would see a speed, I presume you mean connection rate, improvement, your point ?"
The point is... FORCING someone to hook up an exchange with LLU ADSL2+ if nobody sees a benefit from it, makes no sense duh! If nobody lives within aroun 3.5KM of the exchange they are unlikely to see much if any benefit.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"If you advertise nationally, IMNSHO, you should provide nationally, if you only want to serve a small area, only advertise to that area."
What a silly thing to say, if companys want to advertise in areas something they cant provide, then i say let them waste their money doing so. Virgin advertise their cable service nationally as do BT advertise their upto 8Mb broadband, but not everyone can get it, so i dont see your point, unless you want advertising banned in certain areas of the country.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
It is true that anyone can read what you have posted, no-one needs me to help them see how self centred and biased you are.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
Quote "FORCING someone to hook up an exchange with LLU ADSL2+ if nobody sees a benefit from it, makes no sense duh! If nobody lives within aroun 3.5KM of the exchange they are unlikely to see much if any benefit." Only true if the only potential benefit of another provider offering a service with their own hardware was headline connection rate.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
My "manipulation", feel free to say someting different later as normal, of your comments regarding advertising is that you appear to approve of some false advertising, ie Virgin saying they can provide cable service at all to me, I don't live in a cable area, when they can't, but not of others, ie Virgin offering a 20Mb service and then never being able to get past 4 Mb once connected.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"It is true that anyone can read what you have posted, no-one needs me to help them see how self centred and biased you are."
If that is the case why even open your gob in the first place?
quote"Only true if the only potential benefit of another provider offering a service with their own hardware was headline connection rate."
Errr no thats how ADSL2+ works after the 3.5KM mark speed starts to drop to regular adsl like levels.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"is that you appear to approve of some false advertising, ie Virgin saying they can provide cable service at all to me, I don't live in a cable area, when they can't, but not of others, ie Virgin offering a 20Mb service and then never being able to get past 4 Mb once connected."
Errrr opbviously this conversation is going nowhere if you cant differentiate between advertising and a service. (continued).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
If virgin want to advertise their cable service to everyone in the country let them. If you dont like it you are free to complain to the ASA, they have a habbit of listening to individuals with no clue.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
service levels they provide is another matter entirely.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
I "open my gob" to try and educate. Unfortunately there are those who cannot, or will not, be educated. I can see I am wasting my time with you on that front, if you think that the only reason to have another network provider available is so that ADSL2+ can be installed on an exchange then there is no hope.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote" if you think that the only reason to have another network provider available is so that ADSL2+ can be installed on an exchange then there is no hope."
What other services would you like to see installed on current exchange technology then, that also has a benefit to customers, particularly those that want faster services???
I hope for the love of god you are not trying to say the world needs another dozen talk talks.
That would be funny.
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