Should Ofcom force Openreach to split from BT?

Posted on Aug 26 2015 | 1 Comment

Ofcom is reportedly considering the option of splitting Openreach from BT as part of its 10 year strategic review, a suggestion that has received a lot of support across the industry and beyond, most recently from Labour MP Chris Bryant. We certainly think it’s time that accountability was central to Openreach’s role, but is a complete split from BT the answer?

Anyone working within the Internet industry knows only too well the frustrations that are often felt from dealing with Openreach – the company with an effective monopoly on delivering the last mile to customers and the associated fault fixes (save for Hull, Virgin Media and smaller alt-nets) on the UK’s broadband network which is primarily owned by the incumbent- BT. However, would separating Openreach from BT completely really solve the service problems?

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Ethernet: Are all carriers the same?

Posted on Aug 18 2015 | Make a comment
Claire Williams, Provisioning Manager

Claire Williams, Provisioning Manager

If you’re selling Ethernet services to your business customers, ask yourself this question: How do I know I’m using the right Ethernet carrier for them?

What’s important here? Do you get involved in that decision about which carrier to go with, or do you have absolute confidence that your wholesale provider is making the right decision for your (and your customer’s) best interest? Is the carrier chosen purely on price or is more taken into account? Do you think all Ethernet carriers are basically the same?

We think it’s important that our partners realise Ethernet carriers are far from the same and their levels of service quality can vary. It’s not a good idea to judge them based solely on price, after all will your customer be happy with a cheaper solution if it takes two months longer to install, or if the provisioning process is full of problems and unexpected costs?

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Guest Blog: What’s next for communications data law?

Posted on Aug 11 2015 | Make a comment
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Following the recent General Election we’ve seen a number of legal challenges and Government promises regarding the laws and regulations that directly affect our industry, in particular those regarding communications data and surveillance powers. So, what is likely to happen over the next few months and how will we be affected? We invited ISPA’s Secretary General, Nicholas Lansman, to give us his view.

After the General Election, one of the new Government’s first pieces of legislation announced was the Investigatory Powers Bill, set to come before parliament in the autumn and subject to scrutiny by a joint committee. With a proposed new law, recent independent reports and reviews and legal judgements, what is the direction of travel for communications data, and what impact will it have on the communications sector?

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Poll: Should the final 5% broadband coverage be funded by an ISP tax?

Posted on Aug 04 2015 | 1 Comment

As discussed in our recent article ‘Who will foot the bill for the final 5%?’ we discuss the reported suggestion of an ISP tax to cover the estimated £500 million that will be needed to bring superfast broadband services to the final, hard to reach, 5% of the UK.

What do you think about a potential ISP tax? Do you think it’s necessary and fair in order to reach the final 5%? Or do you think alternative funding methods should be used? Do you think the cost will simply be passed on to consumers through increased prices? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below and taking part in our new poll (on the right of the page).


 

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Who will foot the bill for the final 5%?

Posted on Jul 29 2015 | Make a comment

The superfast broadband rollout so far has been funded in a number of ways: BDUK funding (partly from the BBC License fee pot), match-funding from local authorities and a number of Government-led schemes encouraging industry to tender for contracts to reach the 95% target. The “homes passed” numbers are increasing, but reaching the final 5% was always going to be tricky and expensive.

The Government has estimated that it will cost a further £500million to deliver superfast broadband to the last 5% and, due to the predominantly remote locations and diverse geography, standard fibre broadband is unlikely to be suitable. A number of trials are already under way to evaluate the most suitable technology to do the job (e.g. satellite, wireless). But £500 million is a lot of money to find, so where is it likely to come from?

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