BT's fibre plans panned

BT’s plans to start flogging its fibre broadband infrastructure product to other providers have been slammed by its rivals

Geo Networks, which is trying to run the super fast networks in Wales, told IT Pro  it was going to withdraw bidding for Government-provided BDUK funds and in all next-generation access sales because of BT’s antics.

It claims that the market was “not contestable” because BT’s price was too high and there were “heavy restrictions” over what can be done with infrastructure.

It said that the Government’s wish for a competitive market in the provision of new optical fibre infrastructure was a complete failure.

The company’s claims came after industry bickering over PIA, which BT sought to resolve by dropping prices and organising trials with other ISPs to test how fibre infrastructure sharing would work.

Chris Smedley, Geo’s CEO said that while BT had dropped its prices the real issue is that it can only be used for providing the final drop from local exchange to a residential broadband consumer’s house.

This means that it cannot be used for the far more costly task of providing long distances in rural areas. It makes building new fibre connections within them faintly ludicrous, he said.

BT’s network cant be used to connect mobile or wireless infrastructure and you can’t use it to provide leased lines to businesses, he said.

BT’s response is somewhat patronising. It claims that Geo clearly didn’t have a high degree of commitment and expertise to roll out fibre.

A spokesman said that it was ironic that Geo were trying to blame BT, Ofcom and BDUK for their withdrawal at the same time that the other major players are making such good progress.

However, that might not be the case. Rival Virgin has gone on record as saying that many of the pricing problems had not been resolved and there were as a significant disparity between what BT is proposing and what industry knows the costs to carry out the work are.