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BT facing broadband pressure as it signs up 5 millionth customer

by Scott Bicheno on 22 December 2009, 12:10

Tags: British Telecom (LON:BT.A)

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Still a long way to go

There was unbridled triumphalism from UK telco giant BT today, as it announced its five millionth broadband customer. BT is the first ISP to reach this figure - achieved on 9 December - and it gave the customer in question a trip to the Winter Olympics.

The prize was an apposite choice, given a recent report in the FT quoting BT chief exec Ian Livingstone as promising to have its next generation 40mbps fibre optic network up and running in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics, which will be held in the UK.

"The UK's intensely competitive market for broadband has meant that UK customers have enjoyed superb innovation and low prices," said John Petter, MD of BT's consumer division. "There is more to come, as we believe bringing the content of things like iPlayer and ITVPlayer to the TV set via broadband is going to have a transformational effect when we launch Project Canvas with our partners next year."

Quoted in the FT, however, Livingston was more guarded in his vision of the future. "We need our politicians to decide how much of a priority fibre broadband is," he said. "BT is the only company currently planning to invest large sums in this area but we can only go so far with our shareholders' money."

Furthermore, while BT seems to want kudos for accelerating the roll-out of its next gen network, it had promised to deliver by 2012 a year and a half ago. At the time, the primary hurdle to achieving this was apparently Ofcom, but now BT seems to want more public money before it delivers on its promises. Good thing we've got so much to spare.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Hmmm, the bit about BT being the only company investing in this area of super fast bb. Surely Virgin Media is investing, they are rolling out 50meg at the moment!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they aren't doing much to increase the size of their “superfast” broadband area. Their current policy is to extend the periphery of their network just enough so that both sids or ends of a street are enabled where only one side or one end were previously. They aren't increasing the footprint in any meaningful way.
Wouldn't they be better also improving the contention ratios from 50:1 so that people actually get the speed they deserve as opposed to getting slowdown at peak times when everyone is online doing various things?
I think it is just stupid for BT to start laying this Fibre Broadband in areas that already have it via cable - surely the government should have stepped in to try and get the majority of the UK ready for the next gen instead of what we will get vast areas stuck on Old Tech for the forseeable future.

And yes you can guess I have no chance of LLU nevermind Cable or Fibre Optic.:angst:
davidcrofter
I think it is just stupid for BT to start laying this Fibre Broadband in areas that already have it via cable - surely the government should have stepped in to try and get the majority of the UK ready for the next gen instead of what we will get vast areas stuck on Old Tech for the forseeable future.

And yes you can guess I have no chance of LLU nevermind Cable or Fibre Optic.:angst:

Bare in mind most of the areas that have cable already, are the profitable/easy to lay area's. So it would be nuts for BT not to lay fibre there.