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UKIF Lobbys For MP Intervention

Posted: 17th Sep, 2004 By: MarkJ
The United Kingdom Internet Federation (UKIF), which is supported by roughly 70 ISPs, is lobbying for the new eCommerce minister (Mike O'Brien) to investigate BT's recent business broadband price hikes:

"UKIF believes there is a case for a parliamentary enquiry into how Ofcom has regulated and consulted on this issue which is critical for the continued health of UK industry. UKIF has briefed several parliamentarians and new ecommerce minister Mike O'Brien will find this hot potato on his desk when he settles in from last week's Cabinet reshuffle."

Much of the industry unrest stems from the introduction of two new pricing structures - Usage Based Charging (UBC) and Capacity Based Charging (CBC). According to critics, these will lead to higher broadband prices for ISPs buying wholesale DSL from BT as the dominant fixed line telco moves from an unmetered charging pattern to one that is metered.

As UKIF's Jonny Mulligan puts it: "Up until now the wholesale cost of DSL has been unmetered, offered to ISPs at an all-you-can-eat price. Now, with the introduction of CBC and UBC, BT has effectively introduced pay-as-you-go charges for wholesale broadband. While CBC and UBC will benefit larger ISPs that can cash in on economies of scale, it will hit smaller ISPs hard."


We note that there's also a second meeting planned between BT and the ISPA towards the end of this month, although many fear that it will come too late and not result in any real improvements.

Is the golden age of largely unrestricted broadband ADSL usage about to end? Hopefully not, as that would spell trouble for the faster speeds and future content plans. More @ The Register
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