Does BT put more value on shareholder dividends than in providing British businesses with state of the art super fast broadband? In today’s global market businesses rely on their broadband connection, however not every business has access to fast and more importantly reliable broadband, especially in rural areas.
What can be done? Well, yet again, business have been let down by Ofcom who have backed down in calling for Openreach to be split into a separate company from BT.
However TalkTalk, Sky and Vodafone are uniting to try and co-ordinate a consumer action against BT’s Openreach service and force its break-up. These three companies have funded a “Fix Britain’s Internet” campaign, which is encouraging customers and business users to complain to Ofcom as part of its public consultation.
The campaign focus states: “Nearly every broadband provider in Britain depends on the national network, provided by Openreach. And “Through taxpayer money and part of your bill, BT is paid billions to maintain the network. But it isn’t delivering.
“Millions of homes and businesses don’t have the fast, reliable internet they need. We think everyone deserves better broadband.”
It was reported that In a joint statement to The Times, Baroness Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk; Vodafone UK boss Jeroen Hoencamp; and Sky UK chief executive Stephen van Rooyen, attacked BT’s failure to invest in new fibre-optic technology as “inexcusable” and said more needed to be done to force change. And we agree.
Sky – the owner of Sky News – Vodafone and TalkTalk have long complained that a conflict of interest means BT is both a provider of its own services and responsible, through Openreach, for providing the network connection for its competitors too.
Baronness Harding said: “For too long, UK broadband users have been demanding better speeds, better reliability and better service, but the radical change that could deliver this has not been forthcoming.
In response BT have said: “We are disappointed by the false claims that underpin this campaign. Openreach is one of the best funded local networks businesses in the world. I’m not sure that some of the business that we support would agree with this response.
Last week regulator Ofcom said <strong>Openreach should become a “distinct company”</strong> with its own board and control over its budget and the physical network, but stopped short of calling for it to be split completely from BT.
These Ofcom’s recommendations came a month after MPs said <strong>BT should be broken up</strong> unless it “put its house in order” and accused BT of “significantly under-investing” in Openreach. For the first time in a number of months I tend to agree with politicians.
What can you do? If your broadband service is poor or your still waiting for superfast broadband in your area you can complain to Ofcom by sending them a letter to <strong>Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA.</strong> It may work better than sending them an email and using your internet connectionot..