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BT To INCREASE Broadband Prices?
By: MarkJ - 07 August, 2003 (12:36 PM)

The group helping to supply several UK ISPs with broadband and dialup access, mediaWays, has submitted a new complaint to Oftel regarding BTs ‘indirect’ wholesale (non-BT) DataStream ADSL price increase:

BT plans to increase Broadband prices: mediaWays submits complaint to OFTEL

Three months after its last complaint to Oftel concerning price cuts for BT's IPStream product, mediaWays.uk (a Telefónica subsidiary) has submitted a new complaint to Oftel. The trigger for this complaint is a recent announcement by BT to increase prices for DataStream once again. DataStream is the service BT's competitors use to develop their own DSL offerings.

In June 2003 and as a clear acknowledgement of the gulf that had been created between the IPStream and DataStream products, BT reduced their prices for DataStream by a token 70p per line. It appeared at that time that BT undertook this measure as the result of a compromise found through the mediation of Oftel.

Just three months later, however, BT has now notified Oftel of its intention to increase DataStream prices again. The changes proposed by BT relate to the ATM Virtual Path component of the DataStream product. BT intends to increase pricing for this component by up to 40%. As a result, the overall cost for BT's competitors will increase by almost 60p per line.

Martin Kuetter, Managing Director of mediaWays.uk says, "The DataStream product enables a far more diverse product range for ISPs than IPStream and a range of functionality benefits that Operators can uniquely offer. BT's consistent abuse of its market power is stifling competition and placing excessive burden on the Operators. Worryingly, Oftel's ability to keep pace and react to anti-competitive price tactics such as these is in question."

BT's price increase only affects services used by its competitors. Moreover, the price changes are geared in way that more advanced services, which Operators might want to develop, are most heavily affected.

mediaWays.uk is an IP Network Service provider focused on delivering managed solutions for ISPs and Corporate customers. Its wholesale offerings are designed to meet the needs of consumer and business orientated ISPs and consists of 256kbps, 512kbps, 1mbps and 2 mbps end user access products. The comprehensive portfolio enables customers to fully exploit the market opportunities presented by broadband ADSL.

mediaWays' innovative pricing models dramatically reduce the upfront risk for customers and provide immediate cost reduction over alternative wholesale offerings.

For further information please visit http://www.mediaWays.co.uk.

Sadly the ‘give with one hand, take away with the other’ philosophy seems to be growing increasingly common.

It'll be interesting to see whether or not Oftel gets its teeth out or plays the appeasement role, again.

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