Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

ECTA Tells EU to Protect Small Broadband ISPs from Dominant Telco Abuse

Monday, May 21st, 2012 (2:56 pm) - Score 731

The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA), which represents alternative / smaller broadband ISPs, has demanded that the European Commission (EC) “take urgent action” to prevent dominant national telecoms operators (e.g. BT) from using “discriminatory conduct” against them and thus damaging their ability to compete in the new market for superfast broadband (FTTx etc.) services.

ECTA claims that incumbents, such as BT in the United Kingdom (UK), have been “receiving subsidies for years” and in return have often only delivered a partial fibre optic network upgrade via solutions like Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which only takes the fibre so far as your local Street Cabinet.

This “copper gravy train“, as ECTA describes it, has also allowed incumbent Telco’s to limit unbundled access (LLU) to their fibre-based network. As a result the group claims that many smaller operators have “struggled to make a return” on their investment or been driven out of the market entirely.

Tom Ruhan, Chairman of ECTA, said:

It is time for a wake-up call. The liberalisation experiment which Europe began in the late 1990s is close to failing because regulatory rules are not supporting the business case for even leading telecoms competitors. If current trends continue, we may be back to monopolies and duopolies for broadband services in 5 years time. This will not deliver more investment in broadband and will have a negative impact on the services and prices consumers receive.

It is time the copper gravy train ended. Incumbents which have not invested should be held to account, and the whole system needs to be revised to make sure that all efficient telecoms operators can make a fair return on their investments, not just dominant firms.”

Similar complaints have been made in the UK against the governments Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office, which has set aside hundreds of millions of pounds (matched by investment from local authorities and the private sector) to help bring the country’s national infrastructure up-to-date (i.e. making superfast broadband speeds of 25-30Mbps+ available to 90% of the country by 2015).

30mbps broadband eu and uk penetration 2011

Unfortunately BDUK’s rules have effectively isolated smaller ISPs from the process by excluding operators unless their revenue exceeds the threshold of £20m average annual turnover or they form part of a large consortium (highly unlikely in this complex market of differing technologies). This has left only the national Telco, BT, and an untested rival project, Fujitsu, to bid for the money.

ECTA fears that such situations will only serve to “strengthen [the] dominant position” of incumbent national operators and wants to see the EU take action, such as by cutting wholesale charges and opening up the market through improved regulation. The European Commission are currently consulting upon the issue with a view to improving regulation and tackling the problem of low-uptake, although not everybody agrees with their direction (here).

Supporting WIK NGA Progress Report March 2012 (PDF)
http://ectaportal.com/en/upload/File/Press_Releases/2012/NGA_Progress_Report_final.pdf

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar FibreFred says:

    What does this report actually suggest, not much as far as I can see?

    “it is time the copper gravy train ended. Incumbents which have not invested should be held to account, and the whole system needs to be revised to make sure that all efficient telecoms operators can make a fair return on their investments, not just dominant firms”

    The incumbent IS already investing. Who are these efficient telecoms operators they talk of, what investments do they want a fair return on?

  2. Avatar Deduction says:

    While i dont think some of the way they have worded things will do them any favours what they are saying they are basically correct about.

    Ive always maintained i do not understand why BT or any other singular entity should get millions in tax payers cash.

    Ultimately as a tax payer i want the best possible for my money. The BDUK and other funding processes dont even give others a chance to explain what they would do.

    BT may well be the best option to spend our money on, ultimately though because once again nobody has been allowed to challenge them or grab a slice of what is more than a substantial sum of cash none of us will ever know. Either way you look at that BT fan or not, that is not a good thing for industry, growing business or the consumer.

  3. Avatar DTMark says:

    “If current trends continue, we may be back to monopolies and duopolies for broadband services in 5 years time.”

    Indeed we shall.

    Bye bye all the small ISPs; you have no place in the corporatocracy model.

  4. Avatar FibreFred says:

    But all small ISP’s do is piggback on others infrastructure, they don’t build anything of their own, they can do the same with wholesaled FTTC/P?

  5. Avatar DTMark says:

    I agree in as far as – the ISPs which occupy the DSL space “behind BT” haven’t actually contributed anything infrastructural, and broadband is about infrastructure. They have a business model purely because OFCOM and BT presently allow them the luxury of having one.

    So – you’re an entrepreneur of the type that we need to build our new networks. You roll out solutions in your local area, and invest *your own* money.

    What then happens?

    And what does that tell said entrepreneurs about the viability of their plans and their likely future?

    So, why should they invest? Would you?

    1. Avatar FibreFred says:

      If I were a small ISP? No I wouldn’t. So that leaves them as they are buying services from bigger telcos with not many to choose from.

      So this all boils down to product price then? Bigger ISP’s pricing out smaller ones?

      I’ve seen some of the prices that smaller ISP’s charge and they are to be frank quite high, are you saying Sky, BT and Virgin etc should increase there prices to match those of smaller ISP’s?

      This problem was always on the cards, for me its nothing to do with NGA or incumbents and all about the cut throat market broadband turned into with its rock bottom prices. Cheapest broadband in the world I believe or right up there, so its no surprise smaller outfits with higher running costs can’t compete.

      What they charge is probably quite reasonable in some parts of the world but our packages are so cheap now there’s no real room for them whether that’s DSL, FTTC or FTTP

    2. Avatar nicknick says:

      The argument regarding small ISPs is a red herring, as even big players (including Fujitsu who are just clinging on by their fingernails – but did pull out of Wales) could not make a business case work.

      The BDUK process is biased towards anyone who has existing infrastructure. This would be OK if it wasn’t for the fact that the money is only available where there is only one existing supplier. Can you then see the flaw. Can you see why all the money is going to BT………

  6. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    I have changed to a small ISP last month. They are far better to deal with than any of the big 4.

    U.K. call centers with people you can understand and sort out any problems. Ok I do pay more but that is what I am prepared for. Long may my small ISP prevail.

    If I decide to move to FTTC then I would sooner be with IDnet than BT with all their problems.

    What it’s all about is the service offered by IDnet is far superior than BT,Sky,Talktalk or VM, in a nutshell.

  7. Avatar Deduction says:

    quote”The BDUK process is biased towards anyone who has existing infrastructure. This would be OK if it wasn’t for the fact that the money is only available where there is only one existing supplier.”

    Exactly 🙂

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Onestream £22.49 (*29.99)
    Avg. Speed 45Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*35.98)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
  • Vodafone £23.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2768)
  2. FTTP (2746)
  3. FTTC (1783)
  4. Building Digital UK (1740)
  5. Politics (1662)
  6. Openreach (1619)
  7. Business (1429)
  8. FTTH (1340)
  9. Statistics (1240)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1221)
  11. Fibre Optic (1062)
  12. 4G (1052)
  13. Wireless Internet (1020)
  14. Ofcom Regulation (1014)
  15. Virgin Media (1004)
  16. EE (696)
  17. Sky Broadband (668)
  18. Vodafone (666)
  19. TalkTalk (661)
  20. 5G (514)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact