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Is the dog barking in tune with the public? It seems not.
Thursday 07 February 2002 15:29:00 by Andrew Ferguson

In an article over on The Register Bulldog one of the few LLU operators voices concern that further cuts in the wholesale pricing could wipe out the competition in the DSL market. Certainly this is almost what one could have predicted as a statement from Bulldog.

It is most interesting that they have written to Oftel already complaining "BT’s proposed pricing reductions would constitute further predatory pricing practice" note they say would - have they seen the figures, if one reads the news items on BBC News Online the new BT boss is quoted as saying the price reforms "involve a substantial cost reduction on the wholesale side to allow all partners to have a fundamental repricing.". This suggests perhaps that BT have found ways of reducing their costs, i.e. increasing the scope for Home products to drop in price.

So is Bulldog correct to be complaining or not - well it depends on what their plans are, it's fairly apparent that the LLU operators will be targetting the business market, e.g. 2Mbps SDSL lines as replacements for leased lines and one would expect them to differentiate their products with extensive SLA's etc and certainly not competing over whether their line is 50p per month cheaper than a BT line. At the end of the day if you are running an e-commerce setup over a DSL line, the quality of service and uptime is paramount, BT at this time arent in that arena - they are blatantly selling products aimed at the home and SME markets.

The time has come for the remaining LLU operators to decide to either block prices cuts for Home users or to embrace them and ensure that Oftel get them similar cuts in pricing for the LLU facilities, then to market the products and get interest going. Also LLU operators need to be seen to be doing something positive, press releases complaining about everything are good fun to read but it doesnt win you potential customers. One further point is on those exchanges that are LLU enabled, why arent there more lines been used, every one got excited the other day over the first LLU line in Edinburgh - surely it should have been the first 100 lines? In fact I'm not aware of any LLU lines actually been run by Bulldog at all - if any one knows different we'd love to hear. Finally if BT can manage 106 lines in Bromsgrove with the current pricing, how come LLU providers can only manage one in the whole of Edinburgh, what does that about the LLU operators commitments?

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