Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

BT Accuses ISP TalkTalk of Clinging to a Copper Broadband Raft

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 (10:06 am) - Score 2,190

BT has warned Dido Harding, the boss of its arch rival TalkTalk, that her ISP is in danger of being “remembered as broadband luddites clinging to a copper raft in a sea of fibre” after Harding criticised the lack of competition and regulation in the United Kingdom’s emerging market for fibre optic based superfast broadband (FTTC/P) services.

According to The Telegraph, Harding yesterday told a conference in London that Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, needed to weaken BT’s grip over superfast broadband in order to make it just as competitive as the current unbundled local loop (LLU) market for copper based broadband ADSL2+ (up to 20/24Mbps) services.

Dido Harding, TalkTalks CEO, said:

92% of all [superfast broadband] connections go to one provider. Factually, today, our superfast market is significantly less competitive than our copper market and that should be a real worry.

Today, I and [Sky Broadband] and every small reseller of broadband has no idea whether we are paying the right price for superfast broadband connectivity because there is no regulator, no referee on the pitch.”

We assume the 92% figure mentioned above is referring to FTTC/P services delivered over BTWholesale’s platform, which is indeed largely dominated by BT Retail, as otherwise it seems to ignore customers on Virgin Media’s separate cable service and those of independent FTTH / FTTP or FTTC offering ISPs (e.g. KC, CityFibre etc.).

At present the dominant form of superfast broadband on BT’s national UK network is Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which at best only offers a more restrictive form of virtual LLU known as Virtual Unbundled Local Access. Sadly VULA doesn’t provide the same level of price or flexibility control as a full LLU service, which is technically difficult to achieve on fibre, although both the EU and UK governments have so far given it their support.

Harding wants Ofcom to introduce better regulation within the next 5 years and indeed the regulator has already begun to look at potential solutions, which could in the longer term include measures such as wavelength unbundling on true fibre optic lines. But so far no firm plan beyond VULA has been established and ISPs, most of which have little choice but to use BT’s existing infrastructure, often cry out for greater flexibility to help differentiate their products.

Naturally BT frequently counters that its FTTC/P products are offered on a “level playing field” to all ISPs and that those who complain could always build a rival infrastructure. In reality few ISPs, if any, would have even remotely enough money to deliver a truly national alternative to BT and those that try often suffer problems (e.g. Fujitsu UK, Digital Region etc.).

Similarly TalkTalk, which has so far seen fairly low uptake of its own BT based superfast broadband packages, could perhaps put more effort into both advertising and revamping its packages instead of just offering the FTTC service as part of a “boost“, which can confuse new customers.

Never the less the calls for more fibre competition are continuing to grow and so too is the frustration with Ofcom’s seemingly glacial pace towards change.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: , , , , ,
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
14 Responses

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 Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00 (*40.00)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £20.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £25.00
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.99
    Speed 30Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £21.00
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Shell Energy £21.99
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £60 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (4004)
  2. BT (3128)
  3. Politics (2085)
  4. Building Digital UK (2007)
  5. Openreach (1948)
  6. FTTC (1915)
  7. Business (1801)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1584)
  9. Statistics (1483)
  10. FTTH (1369)
  11. 4G (1357)
  12. Virgin Media (1263)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (1225)
  14. Fibre Optic (1220)
  15. Wireless Internet (1218)
  16. Vodafone (917)
  17. EE (896)
  18. 5G (870)
  19. TalkTalk (812)
  20. Sky Broadband (781)
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