Interview with UK Rural Broadband ISP Rutland Telecom - ISPreview
Interview with UK Rural Broadband ISP Rutland Telecom
By: Mark Jackson - May 4th, 2010 : Page 3 -of- 4
"Fundamentally, we don't think ISPs should police illegal downloads by users - it is like asking Virgin Rail to check if passengers are carrying illegal drugs in their pockets on trains"

5. Let's say we knew a similar rural village where RT could potentially deploy its FTTC product, what would the villagers need to do to make an operator like RT interested in coming to their area / what kind of advice could you offer them?

RT ANSWER: That is best explained here
http://www.rutlandtelecom.co.uk/FAQ/rural-national.html

6. How long will it take to build the network in Erbistock and do you have any other villages already in mind for FTTC after the latest work is completed?

RT ANSWER: We anticipate 3 months for Erbistock. The long time period in Lyddington was due to difficulties experienced working with BT Openreach. They now know we are not going away. We now have many other communities seeking a solution and will be making further announcements when appropriate. All are destined to be funded by private investment along the lines of Lyddington and Erbistock - with investors getting a handsome return on their investment and their capital returned in 3-5 years. We have had several approaches from private investors which is not surprising considering the rates offered by banks.

7. What are your thoughts on the recently passed Digital Economy Act and its potential impact upon smaller UK ISPs?

RT ANSWER: The Home Office tell us that some elements do not apply to one so small and lowly. However we want to follow best practice and we will endeavour to keep up with changing legislation and comply with all legal requests for customer data,  but what is significant is that our FTTC deployments are completely disconnected from the BT core network i.e. the lines cannot be interrogated by external monitoring (if such a thing goes on). We would anticipate charging the authorities for the time it takes to deal with any specific enquiries into customers suspected of behaving in a way that is not acceptable to the client state.

However we have concerns as to how easy it is for a customer to be falsely accused - particularly with home wireless networks being compromised. Fundamentally, we don't think ISPs should police illegal downloads by users - it is like asking Virgin Rail to check if passengers are carrying illegal drugs in their pockets on trains.

Two decisions we took at the outset was not to offer a free email address with our service - so that if a customer chooses to leave us they are not compromised and inconvenienced by losing their email address.

We also decided not to have 12 or 18 month contracts - rather make sure our network was the obvious choice and work hard to ensuring there would be no reason for moving to a competitor. If you are a small operator working in the community it can create a bad impression if you ruthlessly impose strict contract terms - all you do is end up alienating yourself from the community you serve.

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