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BT the Guy Fawkes of 2002?
Wednesday 06 February 2002 16:26:00 by Andrew Ferguson

An interesting idea - but perhaps that is what is happening, with everything that assorted BT big wigs are saying it looks like BT may be about to announce they are ready to slash pricing and expand rollout.

If they did this it would light a fuse that is likely to blowup under the government - why? Well if they do what is rumoured a good chance Oftel would say no - it's anti-competitive and cant happen until LLU operators have a reasonable market share - BUT when is that likely to happen certainly not in 2002, maybe by 2004. So who would look bad then? The government and Oftel for abandoning the consumer on the grail of competition.

More words from what Sir Christopher Bland has been saying in front of the Select Committee are appearing, see the VUNET article here. This time he is quoted as saying "Within weeks rather than months we will be able to announce new pricing and broadband initiatives". Now what does that mean - well we know that BTwholesale is giving money to ISP's for a targetted marketing campaign, so it would make sense to tie this in with a new range of price cuts. I suspect BTwholesale has seen an increase in activity with the launch of wires-only and is hoping that one more price cut will position the ADSL service at a price point that will attract a lot larger proportion of existing internet users.

What is interesting is that everyone is so far looking at the cheapest end of the market i.e. £25/month wires-only for the price changes, there is perhaps more scope for price cuts in the 20:1 contention products, e.g. perhaps 2Mbps connections could drop from £100 to £60/month (wholesale price excluding VAT). Lets hope tommorrow brings good news and is not just BT talking up it's share prices.


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