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BT Welcomes Latest BSG Report
By: MarkJ - 22 January, 2004 (9:05 AM)

BT has welcomed the latest annual report from the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG), calling it a "valuable contribution to the broadband debate in the UK.":


BT chief broadband officer Alison Ritchie said the BSG was right to focus on key issues such as the take-up of broadband, the increasing interplay between different types of broadband and the pressing need for a regulatory environment that encourages and stimulates the necessary investment in broadband infrastructure.

Ms Ritchie said these were key issues that BT was concentrating upon in its discussions with the new regulator Ofcom. She also said that the resolution of these issues is critical if the UK is to remain competitive.

Ms Ritchie said: "This is a very valuable paper that anyone interested in the broadband debate should read. The BSG has played a key role in encouraging the progress of broadband in the UK and it has now set out some major issues for the industry, regulator and government to consider.

"Central to these is the constantly evolving nature of the broadband market. People may focus on DSL and cable at the moment but broadband is much more than these two services. It will soon include 3G, satellite, wi-fi and other wireless services. This is a fast moving environment and it is vital that Ofcom acts with these future developments in mind.

"It is also the case that broadband services are getting faster and so new networks will have to be built to support the services of the future. These networks require huge investment from key players such as BT and so it is critical that regulation encourages that investment.

"This is particularly the case in the UK where the private sector carries the burden of such investment. The challenge is to create an environment in which industry leaders feel justified in making investments and investors are confident they will reap the appropriate rewards. It is this particular topic that BT will continue to raise with Ofcom in the coming months.

"Finally, BT agrees with the BSG that the take up of broadband is also critical. ADSL broadband will soon be available from exchanges serving 90 per cent of UK homes and businesses but that means nothing for UK plc if the service is not being widely used. The UK has now overtaken European countries including France and Italy in terms of broadband adoption but we are competing with the rest of the world and so more needs to be done.

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