News & Insight

Is BT taking us back to the last century?

Jack Stratten

Topical insight into BT's proposed takeover of EE.

Ofcom has now joined a host of senior telecoms figures in damning BT’s attempts to use Openreach to fund £1.7m of its EE-takeover bill. And this should hardly be surprising.

BT’s greed subsidised by your broadband network

Openreach controls the UK’s broadband network. And BT controls Openreach, which has been slammed by leading figures across the industry, including the CEOs of TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone. Unlike the wider telecoms market – an evolving and competitive marketplace that fuels better services for customers – Openreach is slow, stagnant and untouchable. Its services are famously dire, and every small business in the UK suffers.

So, the idea that Openreach – the bane of small business’ lives – is going to help BT to re-monopolise telecoms is not just unacceptable, but insulting. While money needs to be spent on providing a better network, faster Fibre roll out, quicker fault fixes and faster new line installations, BT’s attentions are firmly set on its showboating acquisition of EE – which, let’s not forget, will lessen competition and drive prices up again.

Small businesses should be worried about BT’s merger with EE

BT’s control over telecoms is dangerous. And I’m not talking about danger to my business, or my telecoms competitors – it’s dangerous for our customers. Telecoms deregulation 15 years ago is the reason customers today enjoy the lowest phone and broadband prices in the world. And I want to see the industry move forwards to more savings and better service, not backwards.

Let’s hope Ofcom’s probe into the market results in Openreach being split from BT next January. That would be a welcome piece of good news for the UK’s small business community.

By Christian Nellemann