Years ago BT had a monopoly in the UK providing consumers with a telephone service and access to the internet. This all changed and even though most of the equipment is still owned by the company, consumers in the UK can get a service from a variety of different providers. BT is expanding its fiber-optic broadband network across some of the country. But British Telecom has been accused of building a new empire by a rival provider.
According to an article on The Guardian, TalkTalk’s David Goldie has accused BT of building a monopoly with fiber-optic broadband that will leave the country with a sub-standard network that will fall behind other developed nations. The company has promised to invest £2.5 billion in the technology to supply two thirds of the country’s 25 million homes.
It is also hoping to secure a £360m government subsidy to get the technology into more rural areas. These will be awarded by local councils across England and Scotland over the next year. Goldie stated “At all times BT is thinking about how it can recover the monopoly position that it lost many years ago”.
There are other companies looking to secure the same funds as well, which include Fujitsu. TalkTalk and Virgin Media have promised to back Fujitsu as they want to see a serious competitor emerge to BT. The Japanese electronics company will be hoping it can persuade BT to reduce the fees it charges for renting the company’s infrastructure, which will carry the fiber-optic technology across the country.
BT will reveal interim prices this month, and telecoms regulator Ofcom it will make a move if these prices turn out to be too high. Fujitsu are believed to be hoping BT drops its prices by fifty percent, over a period of up to five years.
The UK has already fallen behind other European countries such as Holland and Hungry, but is still on a level playing field with France and Germany who have yet to build such a network. Do you think BT will have a monopoly with its fiber-optic network?