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 BT Wants To Be Dominant Broadband Provider

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PostSubject: BT Wants To Be Dominant Broadband Provider   Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:28 pm

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The Conservatives' abandonment of a manifesto tax pledge is set to cement BT's position as the dominant provider of next-generation broadband via fibre-optic cable, because it makes it prohibitively expensive for rivals to compete in laying new cable – which can be charged thousands of times more in tax than BT is.

BT says it will carry out a "nationwide survey" to establish the demand among communities for high-speed broadband based on fibre-optic cable – setting areas in competition against one another, with the prize being an upgrade to faster internet connectivity.

The company will be running the survey as a competition, which will continue to the end of the year: BT says it will "enable communities to express their desire for the service. This will help BT identify 'hot spots' where demand is high and influence the company's future deployment plans." So far, 4m premises are "within reach" of BT's fibre broadband, but that must grow beyond 16m for BT to reach its target of delivering high-speed fibre-optic broadband to two thirds of the UK by 2015.

But the effect, with the abandonment of the Conservatives' manifesto tax pledge, may be to cement the telecoms operator's monopoly in the provision of next-generation broadband, because of the way that rivals are charged for laying new fibre-optic cable.

BT's move looks calculated to drive adoption of, and interest in, its fibre-optic broadband in order to avoid forced deregulation by the coalition government. The Conservative party, in its technology manifesto published in March, promised to drive the adoption of "superfast broadband" with connection speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps)- by breaking BT's "local loop monopoly".
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