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Berkhamsted UK Businesses Complain BT FTTC Broadband is Ignoring Them

Friday, Jan 10th, 2014 (8:24 am) - Score 1,163
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Brash Solutions, an IT services company, has heavily criticised BT’s wholesale division (they probably also mean BTOpenreach) for rolling out superfast broadband (FTTC) services to residential parts of Berkhamsted in West Hertfordshire (England) while ignoring the “majority of the High Street and business offices“.

The company says that for many the perceived problem is “BT and its near monopoly of the wholesale market“, which gives them a great deal of power in some parts of the country. Brash then goes on to claim that “BT is prioritising residential customers rather than business and unfortunately it makes commercial sense for them to do so“.

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Brash Solutions statement:

Residential customers in general have very low internet usage during the day and only really use the internet at evenings and weekends; businesses make huge demands for broadband bandwidth during the working day yet broadband prices are similar for residential and business customers.

The majority of the High Street and business offices in Berkhamsted do not have access to FTTC internet… similarly many business are convinced that during periods of bad weather their internet slows significantly (unfortunate when considering the UK climate). However, some of the residential roads further from the town centre have Fibre.”

A quick bit of checking shows that FTTC services are available to large parts of Berkhamsted but firms on Northbridge Road, where Brash Solutions is also based, can only access the older ADSL2+ services with download speeds of between 7.5Mbps to 17.5Mbps (well it could be worse).

Last year the CEO of TalkTalk, Dido Harding, similarly suggested that BT were ignoring business areas with their FTTC services in order to protect the “lucrative leased-line business“, which is a complaint that we’ve heard quite frequently over the past few years.

At the time BT’s Group Strategy Director, Sean Williams, countered by saying that the operator only “deploy fibre in areas where there’s most likely to be take-up: it’s as simple as that“. But this could of course be interpreted to say that since some businesses might already take a leased-line and thus probably don’t need FTTC (firms would probably rather have a choice).

In any case Brash Solutions has now started a small campaign in order to try and demonstrate business demand for FTTC services in the area (here). Meanwhile it should be remembered that BT are continuing to deploy FTTC/P services via both their commercial and BDUK supported projects, which means that the above situation remains open to change.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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