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View Full Version : Is this the end for net neutrality in the UK?



Tomatz
July 17th, 2008, 10:13 AM
At first glance this news from the UK ISP BT looks great. They are going to invest 1.5bn into a new 60mbps fiber optic network but when you look at the "fine print" that i have highlighted in red, things don't look so rosy. In fact what they are basically saying is that they should be able to charge customers for different services. Effectivly carving the internet up into smaller more lucrative pieces.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7506742.stm



BT to pump 1.5bn into broadband cables


BT plans to plug some homes straight into the fibre-optic network

BT is to invest 1.5bn in fibre optic cables, giving up to 10 million UK households access to faster broadband.

The plans would bring 40% of homes in reach of an ultra-fast service by 2012. BT is also planning to put fibre-optic cable into about 1 million homes, making the service even faster for those customers.

However, the communications group has made clear it will only make the move if regulator Ofcom allows it to get a decent return on that investment.

Remaining customers would be offered broadband speeds of between 40 and 60 megabits a second (mbps), it said.

In order to pay for the project BT has said it will suspend its 2.5bn share buy-back programme in July - by which time it will have returned more than 1.8bn.

'New chapter'

"Broadband has boosted the UK economy and is now an essential part of our customers' lives," said BT chief executive Ian Livingston.

It looks as though this could be the moment broadband enthusiasts have been crying out for
Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC News technology correspondent

Read Rory's thoughts in full

"We now want to make a step-change in broadband provision which will offer faster speeds than ever before. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in Britain's broadband story."

But the firm has warned that conditions need to be right for its investment.

BT has urged Ofcom to nurture a "supportive and enduring regulatory environment" which includes removing current barriers to investment and making sure that anyone who chooses to invest in fibre optics can earn a fair rate of return for their shareholders.

A spokesman for the firm said BT hoped to discuss updating its current universal service obligation with the watchdog.

Under current rules BT must provide a copper connection to all homes, however, the firm says this is out of date and unnecessary for updated services based on a fibre-optic connection.

BT's rival Virgin Media already uses fibre-optic cables, which are faster than BT's copper lines, although the final connection to the home user is done with traditional coaxial cable.

Meanwhile, other BT competitors including Carphone Warehouse and BSkyB are switching clients to their own networks so they do not have to rent copper lines from BT Wholesale.

Better returns

BT's spokesman also added that the business would be hoping to get a better return on its fibre operations as it would represent a riskier investment.

"At present we are allowed a 10% return on the capital put into our Open Reach service, we would be looking for more than that," he added.

Britain has been slower to invest in fast broadband than some countries, with BT in particular cautious about spending the large sums involved.

The group's plans should enable homes to run so-called "multiple bandwidth-hungry applications" which would enable some family members to watch high definition movies while others were gaming or working on complex graphics projects.

Broadband comparison service broadbandchoices.co.uk welcomed the move saying it showed BT's commitment to bringing the UK's broadband service "up to speed" and provide better coverage for users in both rural and urban areas.

:(

Tomatz
July 17th, 2008, 10:32 AM
This may explain things better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t89WwcsOj9U

Note how the BT announcement states that the "begining of a new chapter in Britains broadband story" is set to start in 2012.

wrtpeeps
July 17th, 2008, 10:42 AM
BT want to put in fibre for themselves only. As in, other ISPs cannot use it. They want to make sure they get all the reward, which is fair enough if they invest in the service.

That is fair enough. Nothing wrong with it.

Tomatz
July 17th, 2008, 10:47 AM
BT want to put in fibre for themselves only. As in, other ISPs cannot use it. They want to make sure they get all the reward, which is fair enough if they invest in the service.

That is fair enough. Nothing wrong with it.

Nope they want ofcom to allow them to charge more for certain services as at the moment they have to treat all data sent over the network with equal priority. Basically they want to carve the net up into the kind of model that cable tv use, you will have to pay for a package of internet services rather than getting full access.

Watch the video i posted.

wrtpeeps
July 17th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Nope they want ofcom to allow them to charge more for certain services as at the moment they have to treat all data sent over the network with equal priority. Basically they want to carve the net up into the kind of model that cable tv use, you will have to pay for a package of internet services rather than getting full access.

Watch the video i posted.

The video is made by what, 5 totally random people?

Tomatz
July 17th, 2008, 10:57 AM
The video is made by what, 5 totally random people?

Ok well i suppose Virgin Media's CEO is random also...

http://torrentfreak.com/virgin-media-ceo-says-net-neutrality-is-a-load-of-********-080413/

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/digitaltv/a93556/virgin-media-ceo-attacks-net-neutrality.html

wrtpeeps
July 17th, 2008, 11:00 AM
When referring to something BT is doing, you'd trust one of BTs biggest competitors to be "impartial" ?

Tomatz
July 17th, 2008, 11:11 AM
When referring to something BT is doing, you'd trust one of BTs biggest competitors to be "impartial" ?

What does that have to do with it the VM announcement is weeks old?

Tomatz
July 17th, 2008, 12:38 PM
I suppose we will all just stumble into this with our eyes closed :(

fatality_uk
July 17th, 2008, 02:39 PM
Frankly, the government should take a lead here. UK Gov should install the fibre across the UK and then lease the lines to which ever company want to do it. I BET if this was proposed, BT would find a whole bunch of cash to do this. Why, because it would give ANY company the opportunity to be a player in the market. LLU was a complete waste of time and it hasn't shown the devlopments that were promised at the time.

BT has a virtual monopoly and the sooner that gets smacked down, the better for UK consumers. We here talk about 24Mb/s, 12MB/s. Rubbish. The average users get 20% of the stated figure.

b3n87
July 17th, 2008, 06:35 PM
I was having a debate with a couple of guys at work about this.

BT having control is a joke, the Government or Competition commission should really step in and open this up to any company... BT is a rip off and exploits its customers with huge profit margins.