So, who is Matt Hancock?

Posted on Jul 21 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on So, who is Matt Hancock?
Categories : Government, Ofcom, Regulation

We certainly can’t take all the credit, but Ed Vaizey was unceremoniously dumped from his role as Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy last Friday evening. His replacement is the MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock.

Representing West Suffolk since 2010, and serving as George Osborne’s chief of staff before that, Mr Hancock isn’t a complete neophyte when it comes to politics. But what of that subject so close to our hearts? Is he likely to be any better at promoting connectivity issues and engaging with the industry than his predecessor?

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Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

Posted on Jun 29 2016 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Brexit: what needs to happen now that our government’s gone AWOL?

Shock, awe, disgust, celebration. Whatever your reaction, nobody ever expected that we’d be left with no leadership and no plan of action. With David Cameron’s resignation, George Osborne and Theresa May keeping a very low profile and Boris Johnson off playing cricket, one may be forgiven for thinking our government has gone AWOL in the wake of last week’s Referendum vote. In any case, there is no firm plan and we’re all left scratching our heads as to what Brexit actually means for our country, our personal lives and the industry that we represent.

Since businesses are keeping the country ticking over while the politicians scrabble around to decide who’s in charge and what needs to be done, we thought we’d seize the opportunity to remind Whitehall what needs to be considered so that the connectivity industry can depart from the EU as painlessly as possible.

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Ofcom gets bullish with Openreach

Posted on Mar 22 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Ofcom gets bullish with Openreach

Building on last month’s Strategic Review of Digital Communications wherein BT was reprieved of a full split from Openreach, Ofcom has today published its draft Business Connectivity Market Review of the £2bn Leased Lines market. The findings mean that BT will be forced to open its Dark Fibre to competitors by October 2017 as well as fixing faults within 5 hours, reducing the average install time to 40 days (which hasn’t been achieved since 2011) and lowering wholesale prices, with the aim of making this premier connectivity solution more affordable to businesses across the country.

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Ofcom on Openreach – yet another missed opportunity

Posted on Feb 25 2016 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Ofcom on Openreach – yet another missed opportunity
Categories : BT, Ofcom, Regulation

BT must have breathed a sigh of relief this morning when it was confirmed that Openreach would not be split off from the Group as a result of Ofcom’s once-in-a-decade strategic review. Other industry players, Entanet included, are not quite so thankful.

While we welcome Ofcom’s recognition that Openreach requires reform in order to improve services across the industry on behalf of British consumers, ultimately we believe that the regulator has wasted this opportunity to effect real change. The crux of the issue for us has always been that, with its effective monopoly, Openreach has been allowed to fall into a stupor of delivering poor service to both industry competitors; who are forced to use it in delivering the last mile and fault fixes; and customers alike. It has, in effect, been allowed to bring the industry into disrepute.

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Poll: What do you think of the new ASA advertising rules regarding pricing?

Posted on Feb 17 2016 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: What do you think of the new ASA advertising rules regarding pricing?

Following a brief study into customers’ understanding of advertised broadband pricing, the ASA plans to impose a new set of rules in May that will change how all ISPs advertise pricing of services. We discussed the plans in detail in our article Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again? but now we want to know how you feel about the proposed changes. Do you think that what’s good for the consumer is good for the industry, or do the proposals need re-thinking to better reflect the industry as a whole? Let us know by participating in our poll and/or leaving a comment below.   


 

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Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again?

Posted on Jan 26 2016 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Are the ASA and Ofcom ignoring the UK’s smaller ISPs yet again?

News broke late last week that the ASA’s (Advertising Standards Authority) and Ofcom’s recent joint study into customers’ understanding of advertised broadband pricing has found it is ‘likely to mislead’ customers and in response they plan to impose a number of changes on all ISPs from 30th May 2016.

The suggested changes are as follows:

– Advertise all-inclusive up-front and monthly costs; no more separating out line rental

– Greater prominence for the contract length and any post-discount pricing

– Greater prominence for up-front costs

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2015 – The year in review

Posted on Dec 15 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2015 – The year in review

It’s certainly been an eventful year within the industry, with plenty of innovations and new technologies and trends emerging, an abundance of regulatory changes both UK and EU based, industry process changes with things like the new switching process and channel unrest with a clear backlash against BT’s relationship with Openreach. We’ve tried to keep you up to date and informed about the key issues that affect you and your customers as part of this fascinating channel, as well as providing useful eBooks and sales advice along the way too.

If you missed any of the blog this year and would like a quick recap, why not download our ‘2015- A year of Opinion in review’ eBook and have a catch up over the holidays. Simply enter your email address into the form field below to receive your free copy. 

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BT bites back in Openreach split debate

Posted on Oct 20 2015 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on BT bites back in Openreach split debate
Categories : BT, Ofcom, Regulation

In response to ongoing calls across the industry for Ofcom to split Openreach from BT as part of their 10 year Strategic Review, the incumbent has bitten back with a detailed response to Ofcom.

In the company’s press release titled ‘Continuity of Investment Key to Britain’s Future’ BT admits it needs to improve its customer service but warns separating them from Openreach would create ‘huge uncertainty and fundamentally undermine the case for future investment’, basically continuing their strategy of threatening to throw their toys out of the pram and halt all future investment if they don’t get their own way!

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Should Ofcom force Openreach to split from BT?

Posted on Aug 26 2015 by Neil Watson | 6 Comments
Categories : BT, Ofcom, Regulation

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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Is the UK ready to ditch its traditional phone network?

Posted on Jun 30 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Is the UK ready to ditch its traditional phone network?
Categories : BT, Network, Ofcom, Voice

BT reportedly has plans to move all domestic and business phone customers to an IP based network within the next 10 years and is requesting that Ofcom relax its obligations on the company to provide a traditional copper based phone network at the same time. This would allegedly enable BT to focus on supporting a single network infrastructure and invest elsewhere. So, is the UK ready to move to an IP based network or should BT be forced to retain its existing Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) infrastructure?

BT’s argument is that most customers rarely use their landline to make calls now, with most opting to utilise mobiles or VoIP based technology anyway. In order to move with technology and remain competitive, it wants to utilise an IP based network for all landlines rather than the existing PSTN infrastructure that it (and KCOM in the Hull area) are obligated to provide as part of its Universal Service Obligation.

Mark Shurmer, BT’s group director of regulatory affairs, said: “We believe obsolete regulation should be rolled back, rather than clinging on until the last user dies. What we are looking for is a kind of ‘sunset clause’ that will help customers to plan.”

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