Bas Burger, president of the British company’s American wing, called for the United States to make its telecommunications companies allow access to their networks at regulated prices, similar to rules in place in the United Kingdom.
Burger said that a lack of regulation has hampered competition in the United States to the point where AT&T and Verizon control 80 percent of the telephone and broadband lines used by homes and businesses.
This means that BT must charge customers more because it has to pay large fees to the US rivals to carry data over these wires. Even then they can sit on their hands whenever there is an outage and watch their rival’s suffer.
Burger called for regulation to guarantee a minimum quality of service, he said. For example, the U.S. companies have no specific time frame for fixing an outage that takes down one of BT’s networks.
Ironically, the British telecom regulator, Ofcom is considering a breakup of BT, the country’s dominant provider, after its rivals accused it of abusing its market position and failing to invest in the broadband networks that the rivals rely on.