cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

N/A

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

We all know now that the DSL max fiasco is not PN's doing but that of BT. ISP's across the board will be having the same problems. This raises an issue that has bugged me for years.

Even if you do not have a BT line but subscribe to an 'independant' phone company, as far as I know even their lines are actually owned by BT. So my question is, Whatever happened to the Monopoly's Commission? The whole of the British telephone system is at the mercy of the BT mongrels. As a result we have no options when trying to escape being caught in the net when it comes to problems such as this DSL max massacre.

Surely BT should have been reigned in by now and allowed other independant companies a REAL shot at providing alternative services.
6 REPLIES
N/A

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

LLU (Local loop unbundling) address this. 3rd parties can take over ownership of the copper from the end user to the exchange and connect it to their own equipment.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

I know LLU will be a help as you suggest.

LLU stills means it is BT responsible for the quality and maintenance of the wires between the exchange and the houses. LLU may address some of the costs problems, though the line quality remains a BT problem. Sad

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
N/A

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

Its a valid point, and it always puzzles me why companies such as Talk Talk can out do the company they receive the lines from in the first place.

BT is split into many subsidiaries with BT Wholesale dishing and out lines and broadband bandwidth, BT Yahoo! being the service provider and BT just being a normal telephone supplier. They also have many others, BT Business, Fusion, O2, and so on.

But BT itself is actually strictly officiated by OFCOM the governing body, since the Post Office privatised into British Telecom its had a monopoly and it simply had to be controlled, this why the BT Group had to split and is not allowed to do dealings between its subsidiaries. It should be said that the Bt Group is state owned.

Of note BT have a Universal Service Obligation which means they must supply a telephone line to every address in the UK, except Kingston-upon-Hull which has its own supplier.

Apologies if some of the details are a little vague, working the facts from my head, I may return with more detail.
N/A

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

While some places have cable, and there are even university networks which are laid through the streets (eg Oxford University has it's own), the bulk of the UK has service supplied only by BT. Kingston Communications supplies Hull and nearby.

The fact is that no other company would want to be digging up the streets to supply copper to individual homes. Where there have been commercial services, they've often been based on fibre, and supplying areas where lots of businesses exist, so the costs are reduced.

I think railways and canals have been used as routes for long distance networks (Mercury had a figure of 8 from London to Bristol and up to Birmingham, then up in the west towards Glasgow and in the east to reach Edinburgh, back in the mid-80s when they were providing phone services for businesses, piggy-backed off BT exchanges), and old water mains for "in the city" business connections (COLT - City of London Telecom).

If some firm is building a housing estate, the simple fact is that it is likely the majority of home owners will want a BT line (the "devil" they know) rather than be linked up to some competitor, and no competitor would want the cost of laying cables for hundreds of home connections, whereas BT "inherited" the copper from the Post Office.

LLU is the option for customers wanting an alternative. The copper to the exchange will still be maintained by Openreach (BT engineers) and there's little way around that, but I don't think anyone could claim BT wants anyone to have poor service - some copper/aluminium connections might give problems, but it is hardly fair to compare pushing high speed data against the original design - able to transmit about 3 kHz of audio over several km between exchange and home/ office.

I'm not employed by BT, but think "BT mongrels" isn't particularly flattering and is rather unfair - I've lived here 15 years with hardly a week of poor service from BT. I expect many others will be able to say the same.

I don't think any firms would want to take on the copper, to be honest. It would mean a lot of manpower to serve the whole country, duplicating the effort of the existing BT/Openreach engineers, and the openings for competition are already in place...

OK, the rental cost for the copper is not yet down to the 20 quid/quarter that Carphone Warehouse wants, but while many costs (RPI, salaries, etc) go up, the fees for telephone and internet are likely to be smaller and smaller as a portion of after tax spending...
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

Quote
LLU (Local loop unbundling) address this. 3rd parties can take over ownership of the copper from the end user to the exchange and connect it to their own equipment.


Actually not true. The copper wire is still owned by BT and is still connected to the exchange as BT still supply the voice side of the connection. It is only the DSL side that the LLU supplier connects into.

You may be confusing LLU with a fully unbundled line where the 3rd part supplies both ADSL and phone, but even then the line from exchange to your house is still owned by BT and if a line problem occurs, its a BT engineer that visits your house, not someone from the 3rd party supplier. What the fully unbundling suppliers do is rent your line from BT at a much reduced rate than the homeowner pays so can pass on those cost reductions in terms of line rental.
N/A

DSL Max SNAFU hilights a bigger problem.

I'm not sure how "much reduced" the cost is for these other companies, right now, but from a post at the end of March 2005 by Sunil Sood (in uk.telecom, subject "any disadvantages to switching line rental?") it seems there's perhaps a pound or so less in rental, per month. Sunil wrote: "The wholesale cost of a residential BT line is £32.59/quarter (including VAT) and is what all these companies will pay. "

He went on to explain how most firms "won't charge less than £10.86/month" without imposing restrictions (eg the terms of ITplc state that one must not make calls via other services, or try to do so - I don't know if they'd try to include VoIP services, but basically they block 1899 and 18185 type cheap call cost services)

BT has been forced to keep line rental charges separate from call costs for years (no cross-subsidy allowed, to prevent them from artifically undercutting other firms on call charges) so the line rental is for infrastructure and staff costs (and some profit).

I spend perhaps 25-30 pounds a year on voice calls - under a pound a year to BT (gets me free caller display service), under a tenner a year with TalkTalk - most calls are to other TT customers, and they're free anyway, but the remainder of my calls use 1899.com and other services, for UK-wide cheap calls. I rarely ring mobiles - and if I do, use an 0844 service at 5p/min, and I simply don't use premium rate services.