Skip Navigation


Some BT shareholders want BT to stall fibre roll-out
Monday 17 November 2008 07:31:47 by Andrew Ferguson

The recession or as some prefer to call it the credit crunch has seen many people and firms tightening their belts, and it is perhaps no surprise to read what some shareholders have been saying to Ian Livingston in a Guardian article this week.

It seems some shareholders in BT want BT to keep the cash it has in the bank rather than spend £1.5bn over a few years on its fibre roll-out plans. For BT's competition such as Virgin Media this would be a welcome delay and allow them to gain a bigger market share. For providers such as Sky, TalkTalk and others the lack of infrastructure investment from BT would probably hold them back, as they are unlikely to finance a fibre to the cabinet roll-out on their own. Less established new entrants like H2O Networks could do very well if there are any delays to the BT fibre roll-out.

One further side effect if BT reins in its spending may well be that BT Total Broadband customers could see the existing traffic management being turned up a notch to avoid the need for buying more BT Central Plus Internet components. Some BT customers are already complaining of what seems to be congestion problems or overly harsh traffic management. Even if BT Retail were not to sign up any new customers, average Internet usage is increasing so existing capacity will need to be upgraded and with the stiff competition in the broadband market it seems unlikely that BT Retail will be the first to twitch and raise its prices.

Comments

Posted by Balb0wa over 8 years ago
very bad news indeed, BT thinking of there money rather than the nation as a whole. so much for evolution.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Actually it's BT's /shareholders/ that are trying to put a stop to it. If you don't know the difference between a company and it's shareholders it's time you found out.
Posted by MacMuser over 8 years ago
If it does happen, BT will lose customers as we watch superfast services from competitors, zoom past us BT customers limited to 8MBps. I'm only hanging on to BT until next year. If speeds don't increase, it's off to BE for me.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
Problem with shareholders, and the stock market in general is that they only look at the next quarter and the results i.e. dividends, it may bring them. That's one of the reasons we're in the mess we are now, as CEOs look to the share price in the current quarter and do what will boost the share price (and their bonus) which pleases shareholders but isn't always the best thing for the company. If BT stalled now, theyn they'd be handing a massive advantage to VM and a good head start to their most innovative competitors.
Posted by Firewall over 8 years ago
Hopefully BT management will see the wisdom of continuing the roll out as even medium term profitability will be impacted by the opposition if they delay. Part of the problem will depend on which part of BT is rolling out the fibre. It's Global Services that's hit the figures so hopefully the fibre roll out is in the plans of one of the other sectors which all over performed.
Posted by GMAN99 over 8 years ago
"Posted by Balb0wa about 1 hour ago
very bad news indeed, BT thinking of there money rather than the nation as a whole. so much for evolution. "

As already stated its the shareholders not the business. Even if it was the business who could blame them?

EVERY business should be thinking about their money whether there's a credit crunch or not, if not you don't stay in business long.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
Wow the shareholders have a hissy and the anti-BT contingent already have their knives out...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
BT shareholders must be stupid... Perhaps they want BT to delay providing any service to people in theses troubled times until their shares have gained enough value back (cos right now their value is in the toilet).
Only problem with that is if competitors forge ahead their shares are still going to remain in the toilet, the competition will give them a bloody nose... Or maybe its more simple and the cretins dont realise value can go up as well as down and if they dont like BT policy they can sell their shares. Typical circle of BT and shareholder dumbness we all know about by now.
Posted by kendal01 over 8 years ago
are you all incredibly stupid? it it were your business you too would be tightening the strings to minimise global downturn impact.
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
who's this 'all' you speak of?
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
as I stated in the thread I started on forum, knee jerk reaction by shareholders who are only thinking of the short term cash in their pocker, BT will be worse off long term if they stall it. Ian could ignore them but would it cost him his job?
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
KarlAustin indeed, heres an idea. Legislate 30% of BT turnover (not profit) has to be invested in new technologies, then shareholders will sell on masse tumbling the price then the government can buy BT for a pretty pound and do it themselves. :)
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
new entrants like H2O Networks could do very well if ...

if they announced a decent amount of information and not just theory...


Posted by Rroff over 8 years ago
"may well be that BT Total Broadband customers could see the existing traffic management being turned up a notch" - the only way they could turn it up a notch would be to return us all to dialup speeds during most of the day - we need to redefine broadband as a product that consistantly provides 1Mbit or higher download speeds throughout the WHOLE day.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"it were your business you too would be tightening the strings to minimise global downturn impact."
This is nothing to do with reducing costs but a few bitter people ticked off their share value has dropped.
quote"as I stated in the thread I started on forum, knee jerk reaction by shareholders who are only thinking of the short term cash in their pocker, BT will be worse off long term if they stall it."
Exactly right chrysalis
Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
BT are a private company and only listen to money...
This is why decisions like this have to be taken by a government for a nation rather than get piecemeal area based solutions that will only benefit a few not us all.It can be done but it needs a government that takes decisions so i dont see us getting a solution from this heap...
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
if they can't make an internal rate of return of 15% they shouldn't do it. What extra revenue is it going to generate ? Pay off some expensive debt first.

Most people have an adequate end user link speed but the infrastructure behind it constrains its use. Can't see any sense spending a fortune increasing the speed of the first mile if the upstream traffic jam / management / cost remains at current levels.

How many ISPs can sustain heavy use of a 4M connection, let alone 40M ?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet - And getting that LLU gear out the BT's exchanges, saving BT power and providing them with more space is JUST the ticket.

Aqualung - You seriously think it's in the governments interest for people to have fast, uncensored broadband? hahahaa.
Posted by andys999 over 8 years ago
waste of time anyway mr buzby over 20 years to late!!lol
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
i have said it b4 and will no doubt say it again...
...this country has lost its industries, the mills, the mines, the steelworks and factories. We are a service country. We can't make it work without decent broadband. The shareholders can winge or sell their shares, but the incumbent has to modernise or bust. If it can't stand the heat it has to pass it to a company who can. The government bails out these big companies and then instead of putting the money back bt just pays out fatcats and shareholders. This country needs a good infrastructure of comms to pick itself up.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
10meg should be the minimum service and 100meg minimum available for those prepared to pay.
IMHO.
chris
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Hmmm. Just re-read my response it comes across as more sharp than I intended. Sorry for that. It's mportant though to distinguish between the two. Tbh I still sympathise with them and BT. The business case for next generation BB is still lacking. Most people are getting on just fine with ADSL so in tmes like these it's inevitable that people are looking to protect their money.

BT have a legal obligation to look after shareholder interest but that doesn't mean they have no choice.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"avoid the need for buying more BT Central Plus I"

Pardon? Surely BT Retail paying any other bit of BT (eg Wholesale) for something makes ZERO difference to the real profitability of BT plc, whatever the amount involved? (In fact given a suitably motivated set of accountants, internal cost transfers like that are often (ab)used to adjust the accounts in whatever direction the board want, but that's a different story).

BT plc paying Cisco/Juniper/Ellacoya/Fujitsu/Huawei/Murphy/etc might have a bit of impact, but probably not on the same scale as the BT Global Services losses.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"The business case for next generation BB is still lacking."

Indeed. Surely a prerequisite to taxpayer-subsidised NG BB for the chosen few is a "universal service obligation" for some kind of half decent broadband for *everyone* (within reason) (and I don't mean Mr Danon's darling BT Midband, born 2003, RIP July 2006)?

Or maybe El Gordo would rather spend taxpayer money elsewhere (eg on preventing market forces leaving the "masters of the universe" where they belong, in debt for the next twenty years like the rest of us are going to be now).
Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
Dawn_Falcon. It is in all our interests as a nation to have a communications system that is fit for purpose...private companies are not going to make strategic long term decisions like this.This is where our elected representatives should legislate...All the Isp's have paid a huge amount of VAT into the government IMO we should see them invest some of that in the future.
And yes it should be uncensored but that's another subject

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - And getting that LLU gear out the BT's exchanges, saving BT power and providing them with more space is JUST the ticket."
Do i really have to keep telling you LLU providers pay BT to have their equipment in the exchanges? If anything having it there makes BT money. Even if it didnt quite what you think they are going to do with a few feet floor space is a mystery. Maybe you think if they had extra space suddenly you will get a faster connection or they will connect up the poor souls that cant get broadband at all.If you think that see a doctor ASAP.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
In fact while we are at it, isnt the government considering giving BT thousands or millions of pounds to give fibre a kick start??? Im pretty certain i read that on here recently... Unless my memory fails me. Maybe the whinging share holders should think about the millions that will cost the country as a whole rather than their pockets and their silly paper share price. In fact why should any government expense be involved... If some of my taxes are going to contibute to fibre via BT i should have some free shares if BT are gonna take my cash?.... As usual HYPOCRITES!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Same story as always BT and shareholders fat greedy pigs... If they dont want to provide a service to us joe public maybe they should all get out of the service's industry. Sick of their whines and boo hoos of 'oh no we got to spend money'... Id like to wrap cable round their damn necks rather than use it for fibre broadband, much more worthy of the expense and time.
Posted by kendal01 over 8 years ago
CB, they are already providing a service and it is adequate for 99% of people. i'm sure bt would oblige you with a 100mb fibre connection to your house but what contention will you get on the providers network then? Herdwick is probably correct in the fact that the main problem is the back haul.
Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
If we want an upgraded infrastructure, we should probably stop relying on the 'visionary' talents of shareholders in companies who worry themselves into a tizzy about having to share their toys too cheaply when they're built. Openreach should have been separated from BT to provide and maintain infrastructure when there was an opportunity. Of course the bloke that missed the goal at 5 yards has now taken a job with BT.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
I do wonder if openreach should be taken over by the state, its becoming very clear now that shareholder needs and the country's needs clash. FTTC is hardly next generation either its more current generation, FTTH is next generation but would probably be current generation by 2012. So BT are in serious danger of falling way behind. VM will be very strong by 2010.
Posted by kendal01 over 8 years ago
just how will vm be very strong by 2010?? they don't do a ftth service and i doubt they will for a long time. some people seem to be missing the point here; it's about maintaining a business in difficult financial times, i'm sure if any of you lot were running bt it would be bankrupt by now!
Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
"i'm sure if any of you lot were running bt it would be bankrupt by now!"

I'd certainly love to try!
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
decent broadband via fibre will rejuvenate the economy and bring this country out of recession. It is essential that Somebody does Something Soon.Millions of man hours are wasted trying to make a crappy connection work especially at peak times. The infrastructure is obsolete. Light the fibre. No need to dig, just blow through existing ducts, use the sewers, do anything but get it lit.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote" it's about maintaining a business in difficult financial times, i'm sure if any of you lot were running bt it would be bankrupt by now!"

IF thats true and their financees are a complete mess why are they still bothering with the expense of hooking up the country to ADSL2+? Sure doing it may not be as expensive as fibrering up the country but if times are so troubled why even spend that money? CONT...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
This is about share holders thinking of their pockets, they can go to hell. The government is considering contributing a fair whack of cash for fibre. If anything to me that means BT shouldnt be a private company or if my money is to be used some of those share holders need to give me there shares free as ill be giving just as much as them if not more. I own a private business, government doesnt give me thousands to expand though. Its a disgrace you are either a public state owned business or a private business. You cant be both and then have the damned nerve to whinge like spoilt brats
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
kendal01, caught up with VM news? 50mbit product launch ripping adsl2+ to bits, UBR upgrades relieving congestion and throttling. Meanwhile BT are doing nothing about expensive BT centrals and poor performing long lines, BT only win on coverage.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
BT are better spent fibering up cities than rolling out adsl2+ to villagers.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
carpetburn I am having the same thoughts, BT been offered subsidies and still shareholders bitch.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
State ownership of the infrastructure? Are you mad? Look at the state GPO was in before it was privatised in to BT. It was milked for every penny, with no investment in infrastructure.

All those moaning about shareholders - do you have a pension? If so, chances are you're an indirect shareholder and should be grateful for every penny of dividend/interest etc. right now.
Posted by kendal01 over 8 years ago
cb, seems as though your just as bad as those "whingers" your talking about. get over it and move on.
chrysalis, last i heard about vm was the traffic management will still apply on the 50mb connection, 3gb allowance doesn't even get you a movie download before your crippled with traffic management! the adsl 2+ is a by product of the 21cn rollout, i would say bt are spending more than their fair share on infrastructure. some people want the world and they can't have it i'm afraid.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
cyberdoyle - 'decent broadband via fibre will rejuvenate the economy and bring this country out of recession'

Exactly how? Many businesses will have non ADSL connections, many homes will be happy with any speed that works for them.

What are the compelling applications that people will pay for?

Is the main problem those homes/businesses too far from the exchange to get a decent speed?
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
kendal01 lets put into perspective, traffic management on 50mbit gives you 7.5mbit, higher than the MAX speed obtainable on the average BT line. the allowance will be 6gig I believe on 50mbit STM which of course only applies during peak and unsets itself later on.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
somerset your last statement it is yes indeed.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Aqualung - No, there's a case for business broadband from that. Not home broadband. And not uncensored.

chrysalis - You used VM and strong together. Again, good joke! 6GB *modified by the local UBR for overcrowding*. That'll be *well* under 1GB in many regions. They don't have the frequencies avaliable to make DOCIS 3.0 a killer, and their fiber network is too limited in scope.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet - They pay a government-set rate, crowding BT gear and inhibiting expansion space. The LLU leechers have to go. (You brought this on yourself by being annoying)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"State ownership of the infrastructure? Are you mad? Look at the state GPO was in before it was privatised in to BT. It was milked for every penny, with no investment in infrastructure"
I dont disagree or question that what i question is why the hell should shareholders have any say when the government will also be providing substantial funding to roll out fibre... They need to keep their whiner beaks out of things or sell there shares and (self edit) off.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - They pay a government-set rate, crowding BT gear and inhibiting expansion space. The LLU leechers have to go. (You brought this on yourself by being annoying)"

Firstly they pay a set regulator rate (Ofcom) which is calculated based on all the things you have complained about (space, electric, etc etc) The rate has also risen more than a few times.
Secondly id like to know how it crowds BT gear... If it crowds it so bad why are BT doing away with certain exchanges. CONT...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Thirdly... Stop being so bitter i can get ADSL2+ LLU and faster speeds. You are attacking the wrong person for that situation, not my fault your service may be crap and mine is better. I dont own BT or any LLU company. I realise you are trying to wind me up but instead you just look stupid... Do you mooch around shops whinging there is more heinz baked beans on the shelf than supermarket own brand? Get home and spend you time writing letters complaining Heinz should be paying the supermarket more? I certainly hope you dont for sanity sake.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Some exchanges have problems with MDF cabling but I doubt if many lack space for LLU kit.
Posted by Aqualung over 8 years ago
Dawn more and more people are working from home and would like to be able to work from home.
Yes i do think its in the Nations interests to have a fit for purpose network which at present it isnt and the current proposals dont change that in anyway.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
Dawn_Falcon im an ex cable customerm I was in one of the worst areas very congested, but been an ex customer I know the strengths and one is every customer synchs at the advertised speed. Compared to the typical ipstream isp tho cable is streets ahead.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
KarlAustin I scrapped my pension years ago when I wised up to the fact its a lottery with my money. Like I said earlier tho shareholders needs conflict with the contries investments needs, as one involves spending money the other involves hording it.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"shareholders - do you have a pension? "

I didn't choose to, my employers locked me in. The recent antics of the "masters of the universe", who have boomed+busted, just like BT shares, mean lots of folks pension pots are back to where they were TEN years ago. I'm likely going to have to work an extra TEN years beyond where I had intended to quit. I'm just glad I was lucky enough to get an extended break when I did. Meanwhile, the megabonus bankers... grrr.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
Aqualung - Working from home is already a very real possability, I know many people who do it just fine with an ADSL Max line, or with an LLU line, or even a small leased line - paid for partly from their savings in commuting costs and partly by the company (they save on office space, insurance etc.). As I type this, I'm working from home today, waiting for a delivery, with 4 phone lines routed to my desk and access to all our systems.
Posted by JPickering over 8 years ago
Openreach Chief Engineer last year Hailed Fibre and how much the company was spending to upgrade the network. As posted here Share Holders Rule and dictate what happens in a business. I worked many a long hour in BT Exchanges Rewiring, when it was Good for the "LLU Leeches" to pay BT a Handsome Fee for each Circuit that was migrated to BT Equipment and the Very tired old Copper Network.
Hale to cable - have use for many years now, with no problems.
Dawn-F Please use correct English
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
when you have stopped bickering about **only** an article in the paper... :/ :/

Spectre_01 is right... and until an official source says something, nothing has happened....

Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Chrysalis - please name the area. Because ig you think Cable > ADSL, I don't believe you wee in a badly congested area.

Carpet - No, you do that to yourself. I have a great service, incidentally. It's a bad day for gaming on this connection when my ping's more than a third of my frame rate (and my PC's good, but not wonderful...)

JPickeling - Hm?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Okay sorry about the spelling in the post above. Trying a housemate's Eee and the keyboard's awful.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
dawn it was, pings over 100ms in evenings and even at 4am were fluctuating, on 10mbit my speeds were around 150-300kB sec in evenings. The thing is with cable, congestion is in certian areas only so whilst we hear about the worst areas believe it or not there is many areas that have a very good service. You ignoring the point I made about the synch speed is the same as speed sold? eg. I synched at 10mbit yet on dsl its 6mbit, at 4am I was at elast able to download full speed but on dsl I can NEVER download full speed due to synch speed. This is why cable is better.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
A good quality LLU isp I would say beats bad cable areas (assuming good enough phone line), but cable defenitly beats ipstream dsl thats what I meant.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
My final point to dawn if you think cable wont be streets ahead, which dsl provider can offer me 50mbit? or even 20mbit? or even 10mbit? my attenuation is 49-50db.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - No, you do that to yourself. I have a great service"

Yeah i saw in the other thread you worrying about the benefit of phorm about to be added to your *cough* "great service" and all for free LOL
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
chrysalis - Simply because your modem config file says 10MBit does not mean you can download at 10Mbit - you're trying for a direct tech comparison which is not valid. VM cable is badly congested in over 80% of its areas. (And 95%+ of its subscribers)

Again, what Region?

Carpet - At least I'm not on a doomed leechers service. Had a VERY interesting reply from my MP.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
I am talking synch speed not tcp speed, fact is on every cable broadband connection I would expect its possible to get full speed at some point during the day even if only at 4am. Whilst on dsl if you synch lower then you will never get the advertised speed. That claim for bad congestion in over 80% doesnt seem to match what the customers are saying, reading on cableforum and people I know on cable heavy congestion is a minority, light congestion yes maybe.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
of course you have to consider dsl also has congestion especially ipstream, there is currently BT retail customers complaining about getting sub 1mbit. Protocol shaping is rampant on ipstream and entanet is sub 2mbit all weekend currently.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - At least I'm not on a doomed leechers service. Had a VERY interesting reply from my MP."

Doomed leecher service, owned by one of the richest companies in the UK

Your MP, I dont give a toss what he has to say about anything, unless you live in the same area as me which is doubtful otherwise you would of had no reply.

Now be a good girl, you run along and think of all those pretty adverts phorm will bring you and ill think about how my connection is twice as fast and ad free and we are all happy with our "DOOMED" LOL services :D
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - do you treat everyone in this way?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Chrysalis, and on ADSL you don't get the packet loss you on an overloaded cable connection either...a contended ADSL connection is still useable, a *badly* overloaded UBR rapidly degrades service status.

Not. Directly. Comparable.

(And the majority of VM regions have UBR overloading to some degree)

What region?

Carpet - He's on a commity in place to do something about it. (Also, girl, roofle - the Dawn Falcon is another phrasing for Phoenix)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - He's on a commity in place to do something about it."

Oh im scared now, you and your MP.... shudders Big business like sky, o2, Tiscali and others are shaking in their boots some man in suit and jealous thinkbroadband poster doesnt like LLU..... My god i better run quick this time tomorrow LLU will be dead.
quote"(Also, girl, roofle - the Dawn Falcon is another phrasing for Phoenix)"
Opps missed the sarcasm there didnt you!

Will say though i agree with you about cable services, complete pile of doo doo.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
dawn depends what you define as useable, my dsl line wasnt very useable when I had noise bursts and I had the problem for months.
Posted by acahopkins over 8 years ago
I have been reasonably happy with LLU ADSL for two years, but speed has been falling, which is beyond the IAP's control as it uses BT lines. I have now returned to VirginMedia and have had well over 9Mb recorded several times on the speed tester in recent days.
Posted by andys999 over 8 years ago
returned to virgin media?have you rocks in your head?lol
i dont know who are the worst schiesters them or bt!!!
"the mother of all broadband"has serious cracks in underground cabling- when it rains we lose our services.
or when a puff of wind happens bts 40 year old lines fall down!!!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I prefer to think of Virgin Broadband as the "Mother-in-law of all broadband".

Unpredictable, ready to cut you off at any moment, shouts loud but in the long run has no power or control oh and you should always be weary of anything free she offers you, there will be a hidden cost!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
andys999: stop moaning and read it properly...

" Speed has been falling, which is beyond the IAP's control as it uses BT lines "

"VirginMedia have had well over 9Mb recorded several times"

can YOU say this about your ISP????
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Instead of moaning about it here, get a campaign going to get your village proper service... If it is as bad as you say, you will get a lot of support...

meanwhile us in larger towns have nothing to complain about!!! (we have got sick of BT's hopeless ways, and took the risk getting cable, its far better than BT blaming everyone else...)
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
You're simply lucky. You live in one of the regions without UBR overloading (I assume, becuase you stubbornly refuse to name it).

Hence, you're knowingly and delibrately giving bad advice because most VM connections do suffer from overloaded UBR's.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Well its not just me... If you had bothered to look at the proper forums, you will see more...

here's a few poster's speeds from DS, where(being a proper forum) they have their location, speak a lot better, and actually talk about getting help from VM newsgroups, web and phone...

Great Yarmouth 10M
Chorley 19M
Central Lancashire 19M
East London 17M
South East 20M
Winchester 17M

you will notice not many here give any clue to where they are, CB sometimes says, as I do too...

- and of course you are being very vague, to justify the moaning....
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.