C&W respond to BT Press on ‘Upgrade to 20mb for free’

Cable& Wireless has issued a statement in reponse to BT’ announcement of the ‘imminent’ launch of an ‘up to 20mbs’ broadband service in the UK saying this represents the first retail sale of BT’s long awaited and much delayed 21CN broadband programme.

“Whilst BT has remained the UK’s largest ISP, it has fallen behind in the development and deployment of next generation ‘ADSL2+’ broadband services. Other major network operators including; TalkTalk, Tiscali, Sky, O2 and Cable&Wireless have already deployed this technology throughout the country, and have been successfully moving customers onto these ‘up to 20mb’ services for upwards of 12 months. BT’s current ‘up to 8mb’ services are outdated and have been overtaken for some time.

The limited reach of BT’s 20mb capability, estimated at 40% of the UK population, is a long way behind the other major UK operators, all of whom can reach at least 60% of that same population. This leaves large swathes of BT’s customer base unable to take advantage of this new service.

BT has not developed a combined primary line voice and data service, so end customers must also pay a line rental price for their telephone line. Operators such as Cable&Wireless and TalkTalk can take advantage of a combined ‘Doubleplay’ service for their customers, significantly reducing the end customer cost for both elements.

While BT has been struggling to get this product to market in its retail business for several months, development of a feature and capability roadmap for its broadband platform has been on hold. So, business grade capabilities and features such as; upstream speed boosts and Quality of Service will be subject to further delays.

In conclusion, BT is retaining the same bandwidth and content throttling policy it currently applies to its legacy ‘up to 8mb’ broadband services as it moves onto the new products. BT is turning up late to the next generation broadband party, with a limited footprint and a throttled customer experience without a clear vision of how to make these products relevant to the business market.”