Consultant Slams OTA/Ofcom

In an open letter, Independent Telecommunication Consultant Brian Powell, has slammed OTA and Offcom for their performance over broadband.

Powell says:

“Your recent announcement on the 8th November 2006 that BT has unbundled 1 Million lines in UK is a damning indictment of your efforts – given that BT has made a pronouncement today (13 Nov) that it now has 3 million broadband customers of its own.

Whatever has gone wrong with your mission to open up the broadband market to every UK citizen? From these two very conflicting reports – it looks like BT, the UK incumbent, still has significant dominance in the market and is controlling the rollout of LLU to BT’s significant advantage, i.e., throttling back competition. BT is leading OTA, OFCOM and the rest of the industry ‘around the ring by the nose’ like a bull being sold at auction.

When, if ever, will OFCOM start behaving like anything other than a ‘Toothless Bulldog’ and drive BT forward with the power of a 500 HP speedboat rather than at tug boat speed?

Why did OTA even bother to announce the 1 million LLU figure, when it is clearly an embarrassment compared to BT’s own (unfair) and bludgeoning success in the UK broadband market?

As a telecoms professional with 43 years experience in the market and being a ‘Champion of Competition’ – my personal view is: why do OTA and OFCOM bother to make such announcements, when quite clearly the real job of getting broadband to the masses – through competition and EFFECTIVE regulatory mechanisms – is patently not happening at the speed that customers require. Yes – at BTs speed maybe – but the customers are your Paymaster!

Yours Sincerely,
Brian Powell