BT’s rivals call for ‘big stick’ not more talk

2 Mar 2005

A group of UK alternative operators including AOL, Easynet and Wanadoo have banded together to lobby MPs over fears that a review from the industry watchdog Ofcom will not deliver improved access to BT’s network. The rivals contend that the incumbent is not fully committed to reform as it fears the adverse impact such changes would have on its bottom line. While they laud Ofcom’s intentions in seeking the review, some are calling for a ‘big stick’ approach to bring the former monopoly into line, rather than an endless round of consultations. The year-long review is months away from completion, but alternative operators already fear it will not bring about the ‘equivalence of access’ it has ostensibly promised. They argue that while BT has promised to set up a new division to handle LLU, it is yet to provide a clear policy plan or a check-list of steps that it would take to ensure it is achieved.