Ofcom to set BT price

4 May 2011

bt-logoOmnipresent Ofcom are all poised like coiled sponges to set the price at which BT will provide access to its infrastructure, so that other telecoms companies can build high-speed broadband internet networks.

Ed Richards, chief executive of Ofcom, told dithering slimeball MPs on Tuesday that he thought it would be “unlikely” that a commercial agreement on infrastructure access could be reached between BT and its competitors, so they're stepping in.

One company who will be very interested in all of this will be Fujitsu who plan to build a £2bn high-speed broadband network covering 5m homes in rural Britain, with Virgin Media and TalkTalk as flagship wholesale customers.

However, they can't do anything without BT's help, pipes and telegraph poles and, according to Fujitsu (and four other companies), BT’s proposed charges were four to five times their underlying costs. And so, they've grassed them up to the government.

In a letter to Ed Vaizey, the communications minister, the companies asked the government to intervene so that BT would have to play fair and set lower charges. The government will be keen to get Fujitsu on board as they're the only company looking at wiring up rural areas, with everyone else focusing on towns and cities.

BT say: “We are working closely with both Ofcom and industry to ensure the final prices reflect the true costs.”

TOPICS:   Technology

3 comments

  • Busby
    How come VM haven' t been forced to open up their network to wholesale customers in the same way the BT group have?
  • PlatinumPlatypus
    So that means Fujitsu and the like won't charge us 5 times the underlying cost of providing us broadband, because that's unfair? Oh...
  • George
    Given the fact that BT has to provide broadband to unprofitable areas whilst other companies don't, where do you think this is actually going to end up targeted at ? The initial argument Fujitsu seem to be using is that they want to provide services to those who currently lack them so as to be seen as a benevolent force. I'm going to guess that the costs will either end up being higher than BT or they'll cherry pick the locations so as to maximize revenue while leaving the fiscally unsound to make their own arrangements.

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