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UKIF Welcomes BT Ruling

The UK Internet Forum supports Ofcom's announcement that BT is to increase equality of access to its core network for other companies

June 23, 2005

2 Min Read

LONDON -- UKIF, the UK Internet Forum, today stated its support for Ofcom’s announcement that, as a result of its Strategic Review of Telecommunications, BT will create a new ring-fenced Access Service subdivision within BT aimed at increasing equality of access to BT’s core network for all companies in the UK technology sector.

There has long been a need for greater access to telecommunications network infrastructure in the UK, and Ofcom’s ruling appears to be a well-defined constructive step towards increased equality for all. The announcement will influence the UK marketplace positively, making a quantum change which breaks BT’s stranglehold over access to the core network infrastructure.

Said Steve Harris, UKIF’s Communications Director, “It has long been obvious that BT’s ownership of the core telephone network has always given it an unfair advantage over even its largest competitors. This development goes a long way to separating the operation of the network from the marketing of services on the network and makes competition at the services level a much fairer contest.”

In Ofcom's Strategic Review of Telecoms Seminar back in December 2004, BT claimed that it would fight Ofcom’s judgment tooth and nail should the regulator decide to refer the issue to the Competition Commission, so the avoidance of a dispute of that magnitude, which would clearly do nobody in the industry any good at all, can only be a positive step.

The fact that greater equality of access offers the possibility of lower Broadband pricing to the consumer is a productive step, although it may yet adversely impact smaller providers in the UK, so UKIF hopes that Ofcom will be watchful in its commitment to safeguarding the interests of all industry parties.

Said UKIF Director Steve Dyer “The increase in BT’s share price following the announcement demonstrates that this change is beneficial to both BT and the industry and Ofcom are to be congratulated in achieving a win-win solution to what could have been a bitter dispute.”

UKIF believes that Ofcom and BT have found a reasonable resolution to a thorny issue which is to the apparent benefit of all in the UK technology industry.

United Kingdom Internet Forum

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