Verwaayen takes a swipe at whinging rivals

29 Mar 2005

In the wake of continued protests from rival operators, BT supremo Ben Verwaayen says that they should ‘get on with life’ rather than continually question the group’s motives. BT is awaiting a response from Ofcom vis à vis its offer to restructure itself rather than be broken up, but alternative operators have not relented in voicing their concerns that the former monopoly is not going far enough to provide for a more competitive environment. The regulator is due to publish its decision in June and could decide to either implement new legislation or refer BT to the Competition Commission, which could herald its break-up. The incumbent’s critics are adamant that its proposal to create a new Access Services Division to handle wholesale access ‘lacks transparency’ and would act merely as ‘window dressing’ that would still favour BT’s retail arm. They have also accused the telco of attempting to blackmail the watchdog by making a GBP10 billion network upgrade conditional on receiving a ‘firm settlement’.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach)