Some BT shareholders want BT to stall fibre roll-out
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.