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Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

Just saw this today http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/05/digital_review_hints/
Hope this doesn't translate higher line rental for BT and indeed PN home phone customers as BT have whined for years about how hard done by they are so I reckon they'll use the opportunity to jack prices.
45 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

Should be just the opposite http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/telecoms/article5439268.ece
Quote
In a blueprint for the telecoms industry to be unveiled this month, he is expected to scrap the requirement for BT to run a phone line into every home in the country.
Instead, Carter is likely to oblige the industry as a whole to provide a basic broadband service to every citizen who wants one, using either fixed-line or mobile technology.
That could pave the way for BT to rip out its century-old copper network in some of Britain’s least-populated regions.
Except for users in remote areas who may be forced to use wireless connections
techguy
Grafter
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Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

in my view the USO should not be lifted until fixed networks of competing providers have the same coverage as BT so that customers have a choice.
itsme
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

Therefore an USO should be placed on all LLU companies and VirginMedia? At the moment LLU companies only cherry pick the large exchanges, they have no interest in exchanges with only a few hundred subscribers.
techguy
Grafter
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Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

Sorry but BT were pretty much gifted most of the infrastructure they own (and are holding the country to ransom to upgrade) so yes maybe all of them should be subject to this condition because I don't know about you but I for one would not want to see for example, an elderly person dependent on a wireless link to summon help because BT won't run a line out to where they choose to live just because they wont make a killing on it.
I don't believe the hype for one second, telcos make an absolute mint and BT get to hold tacpayers over a barrel too.
itsme
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

hmm, BT are losing money at the moment hence the reason that they are laying off 10,000 workers, so where are they making a mint?
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

Maybe the directors need to take a pay cut and the money used to retain the jobs of the people they are giving the boot who probably know better than anyone how the stuff works.
I think infrastructure such as a fibre backbone for broadband and the core PSTN ahould be owned and operated by a government owned (public) company anyway and providers such as BT should pay for access.
Time for a compulsory purchase of BT Openreach I think.
Community Veteran
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Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

Quote from: techguy
Time for a compulsory purchase of BT Openreach I think.
You mean nationalise it so that it will be run by civil servants at the the whim of government - just like it used to be when you had to share lines due to lack of infrastructure.
techguy
Grafter
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Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

I do mean as a company, not a department like HMRC but with profit ploughed back into further development as opposed to dividends etc so the emphasis is on qualty of infrastructure and service not lets bodge it for the sake of cost reductions to please the shareholders
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,246
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

That was how BT was but with the government getting a good return on investment and very little investment in infrastructure
Moderator
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

and network rail are doing such a good job to recommend that approach..
Will Moderate For Thanks
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

but there are some things you cant plan for.
Eitherway something has to change for the benefit of the long suffering telecoms customers in the uK.
Superuser
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

IMHO removing the USO has been long overdue.  If you read all of the article the most likely outcome is a Levy on ALL telecoms providers to fund access to remote or difficult sites, rather than this onerous responsibility falling only on BT.  Too many of the current Telco's (?) only operate in the well served more populous areas where lines already exist and have no interest outside of the Ultra Urban areas.
Perhaps having to share the responsibility (and cost!)  for the USO will properly level the playing field at last.
Now lest you think I am a BT apologist - think again!  I believe that BT gets a lot of things wrong, they are still in the dark ages on service and need to wake up and smell the coffee?  Removing the USO potentially  loosens the BT grip on the existing cable infrastructure.  If the price is right VIrgin or TT could step up to the plate with a better offer to expand and run a new service?
Maurice
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

To be honest, customer service from Virgin is just as dire from what I understand and they insist you have to use their equipment to terminate the connection (always prefer to use my own CPE anyway)
I still think line rental will be jacked up and when that cost is passed on by PN I will have to think whether to retain my connection as I'm certainly not handing over 50 quid+ a month for ADSL and the line that I only have to support it.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Government to release BT from Universal Service Obligation

All this talk about putting in Fibre cable etc, If I remember correctly, the technique was developed by BT Research at Martlesham (Ipswich) - Still there Cool Cool