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.Read More »
Less than three weeks after it received scathing criticism from no fewer than three parliamentary committees, news that a revised Investigatory Powers Bill was to be published today was gently released by Theresa May at the weekend. From past experience we’re not surprised this has happened but we’re hanging our head in despair. How can a government be able to rail-road such a controversial Bill through without proper consultation or, at the very least, further dialogue on the points the three committees raised? Today’s action is indicative of a Government that is intent on forcing through legislation that furthers its own agenda with little consideration of the consequences.
Back in December 2015 Entanet provided written evidence to the Select Committee, raising concerns over the definition of a ‘Communications Service Provider’, the timescales to implement the IPB, the cost of implementation and who will pay, the vagueness of ‘Internet Connection Records’ and the robustness of any system to guarantee that data on private citizens would remain secure and not open to abuse or intrusion for malevolent means.Read More »
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.Read More »
The ‘Snooper’s Charter’ in its various iterations has been an ongoing cause for concern for Entanet and the industry as a whole for several years now and, as we move ever closer towards its seemingly inevitable implementation as the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), we decided to have a chat with ISPA’s Secretary General, Nicholas Lansman to find out his concerns for industry and what he thinks the committee scrutinising the Bill should be focusing on.
Parliament is currently scrutinising the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which aims to ‘consolidate existing legislation and ensure the powers in the Bill are fit for the digital age’.
Whilst ISPA welcomes a new Bill to replace the outdated legislation governing this area, there are specific concerns from ISPA, Entanet and industry around the lack of clarity in the Bill, its costs and what exactly will be expected of ISPs.Read More »
Most of our readers are well aware of the ongoing debate over the protection of net neutrality and its recent legal protection thanks to the EU. However, it looks like net neutrality could potentially be under threat once again and this time it’s from the UK Government and its plans to protect their existing ‘opt-in’ based parental controls.
The Government already has agreements in place with most of the major ISPs to force Internet users to specifically ‘opt-in’ via their ISP to view sexually explicit or violent material, in an attempt to help protect children from inadvertently seeing unsuitable material online. This means the account holder has to specifically request to turn off any parental control style filters (usually at the point of signup by unchecking a box which is known as an ‘enforced’ option) and all filters will be turned on by default.Read More »
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.Read More »
The consultation period for the new Investigatory Powers Bill, nicknamed the Snooper’s Charter 3.0, has begun and the information emerging so far is already raising industry concerns. Mainly the fact that the new data retention orders will potentially only apply to larger ISPs; all affected ISPs will be effectively ‘gagged’ from discussing their involvement; and the consultation period has been significantly reduced to just 3 weeks!
Smaller ISPs unaffected?
According to www.ispreview.co.uk, “the Government already has data retention orders with the biggest broadband ISPs under the existing regime and told the smaller providers that, going forwards, the expectation was for such orders to continue to only be served upon the big boys.”Read More »
Labour tried it with the IMP (Interception Modernisation Programme), then the coalition Government tried it with CCDP (Communications Capabilities Development Programme). When that failed they morphed it into the Communications Data Bill which also failed, so then the new Tory Government hastily introduced DRIP (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill) but that has a sunset clause of December 2016. It’s not surprising then that last week yet another new draft Bill was announced – this time it’s called the Investigatory Powers Bill. So what will this latest iteration which has already been widely nicknamed the ‘Snooper’s Charter 3.0’ have in store for us?Read More »
Last week the EU rejected further amendments to strengthen the new laws that will essentially protect the concept of net neutrality. Critics argue this leaves the legislation weak and means the Internet could still be susceptible to becoming ‘two tiered’ or having ‘fast lanes’.
The amendments were attempting to restrict ‘overly broad language’ which critics argued ISPs could interpret to allow ‘fast lanes’ and ‘two tiered’ approaches to ensure a certain level of quality for premium services such as IPTV, but they were rejected by a huge majority in the vote. Instead the EU argues that this will be managed by regulators, although at this stage no further details were provided regarding potential punishments for contradiction of the rules.
This is a concern we raised in our recent article “Net neutrality in Europe: Enshrined in law or open to abuse?” and it’s disappointing at this stage to see the EU didn’t go further to protect net neutrality when given the chance. However, looking on the positive side, this is the first time net neutrality has ever been afforded any form of legal protection, so at least it’s a start! If the regulator approach doesn’t work as effectively as they hope, let’s hope the process will be adequately reviewed and updated as necessary. We will have to wait and see.Read More »
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!Read More »