Wednesday, 5 January 2011

BT Wholesale supportive of comunity networks - not!

ISPreview reports that Sally Davis, head of BT Wholesale, is advising the government not to rush to give money to smaller ISPs to build rural fibre access network.

She seems to be worried that once built, BT will have problems providing its services over a "patchwork" (her word) of access networks.  She seems oblivious to the fact that these communities aren't simply putting in access networks to do BT's job for them; they may not want (or need) BT's services at all.

It isn't suprising that BT should be discouraging competitors, but what is galling is BT's assumption that they should be the recipient of any government subsidies to build out their monopoly network, and the arrogance that we should be waiting our turn before BT deigns to sell their limited choice of overpriced services to us.

Sally Davis, BT Wholesale
Perhaps BT are finally hearing the wake-up call from JFDI community networks.  It is a promising sign that they are genuinely worried if they feel they ought to issue statements like this.

As to the so-called problem of the "patchwork of different operators and technologies", perhaps Ms Davis should take a step back and take note that the Internet is just that - a collection of interconnected networks and it seems to work just fine.

Here is a prime example of BT's spin doctoring, confusing the market and attempting to quash competition by bamboozling the government's decision makers with technical exaggerations and false logic.

Community networks do need to be cognisant of the need to provide wholesale access to their access networks, so it makes sense that there should be separation between the access layer (the fiber to people's houses) and the services layer (the Internet that runs on top of this)

By offering a wholesale proposition - come to our Digital Village Pump and we'll rent you "naked" fibre tails to subscribers - community networks can't be accused of abusing any government subsidy.  Right now though, the big ISPs aren't rushing to any rural communities so the community will have to run their own service provider as well as the network operations.

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