Oftel gives BT deadline over line access for rivals
Wednesday 01 December 1999
David Edmonds, Oftel's director general, ruled that BT will not have to allow competitive access to its local loop lines into consumers' homes until July 2000. BT plans to launch its own high-speed digital subscriber line Internet service from April, with a national roll-out to cover more than two-thirds of Britain by the end of 2001.
By April, Oftel hopes to have negotiated amendments to BT's licence. That provision will eventually force the telecoms giant to make its local lines available to competing telecoms carriers and other firms, such as Microsoft, who want to market advanced Internet services.
"We think the ruling is important, but it should happen quicker," said Charles McGregor, chief executive of Fibrenet Group, an alternative telecoms service provider specialising in offering high-speed Net access.
MCI WorldCom, the world's biggest telecoms group by market value, also welcomed Oftel's decision, but stressed that competitive services could commence more quickly. "With commitment and hard work from all parties we can achieve this before July 2001," said Michael Butler, managing director of MCI WorldCom UK.
Bill Cockburn, managing director of BT UK, cautiously welcomed Oftel's plan. "What is proposed is far reaching," he said. "It's something that has to be worked through in detail."
One question mark is price. BT has proposed to offer digital subscriber lines on a wholesale basis to service providers, which could include AOL and Freeserve, from about pounds 50 per month for 500 kilobit service to pounds 150 for 2 megabit service. But BT said yesterday that it would unveil new price proposals shortly.
- 1 Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says jobless migrants should be banned from entering the UK
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...