Sunday, July 21, 2013

UK - Parliament hears complaints about the exclusionary, anticompetitive behaviour of BT in the Govt's scheme for rural broadband

V3 reported on the recent hearing by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the rural broadband initiative of the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS):
The lack of transparency on pricing was also discussed by Malcolm Corbett, chief executive of the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) and Nicholas James, chief executive of UK Broadband, who cited numerous concerns with BT.

Corbett went as far as to deliver the standout line of the sessions, likening BT to a ‘vampire death squid’ for the way it acts towards smaller, local providers.

The accusations were that DCMS had modified the terms of the agreement in ways that favoured BT to the exclusion of all others, but assigning small areas and by requiring only 90 per cent coverage.

In its report PC Pro completed one of the witnesses:

The maestro in question is Nicholas James, chief executive of UK Broadband, a company that wanted to spend £150 million on improving Britain’s fibre network, but couldn’t. Yesterday, he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee, and in only ten minutes destroyed the credibility of the government body – Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – that’s spending almost half a billion pounds of public money on next-generation access.
The Daily Telegraph reported
Telecoms executives attacked the Government for “moving the goalposts” on a subsidy scheme to provide superfast broadband to rural homes and businesses so that BT was effectively awarded £1.2bn in public money without competition.
The video of the full hearing can be viewed here.

No comments:

Post a Comment