CWU Slams “Ill-Judged” BT Break-Up Demand From MPs That Threatens Future Of Broadband In UK
MPs have issued a report into Openreach which concludes with the recommendation of the breakup of BT.
The report from the group of cross-party MPs who make up the British Infrastructure Group which is chaired by Tory MP Grant Shapps; calls for the complete breakup of Openreach from BT in a 72 page report entitled "Broadbad"!
The report is 22 pages long and contains 50 pages of statistics hard to read, with no sense in the headings or any methodology in collating the figures indicated and no source, other than the House of Commons Library!
"This research highlights the serious problems that the UK broadband network is facing. It argues that the current situation of large inconsistencies in service leading to millions of citizens and businesses experiencing slow or non-existent connections is now untenable.
With the UK economy now so reliant on its internet infrastructure, this BIG report contends that our future is being held back by systemic under investment stemming from the ‘natural monopoly’ of BT and Openreach.
The report concludes that the current situation is stifling competition, hurting our constituents and in the process limiting Britain’s business and economic potential."
It can be downloaded by clicking on the pic above.
“Carl Webb, Regional Secretary of BT's main trade union, the CWU, responded to the report by highlighting the lack of knowledge and understanding of provision of Broadband services amongst North West MPs who have signed this report; saying:
"I am shocked and disappointed with those North West MPs who have put their name to this report, which has no understanding of the challenges in providing the UK with a super/ultra-fast broadband infrastructure.
Many fear that in demanding this they will open up Britain's complete broadband network to the likes of Sky TV and other telecomms companies such as Virgin and even foreign companies as is the case with Royal Mail Group now.
Nor is there a shred of evidence to support the claim that additional investment would be forthcoming if the proposals are accepted.
The so-called evidence can be challenged very easily as it seems to be based on questionable regurgitated anecdotal reports.
For example one of the key sources for the report comes from a marketing research company called Digital Strategy Consulting, which was done in March 2015.
Their report states:
"According to the study, more than a third (39%) of respondents said that their home internet connection was ‘much faster’ than the one they use at work."
Given that most business computers are on local networks and wi-fi often is the source of broadband access for these machines, a lot can vary in terms of the speed available to their network as opposed to that obtained by the individuals user's PC.
BT has no control whatsoever over individual company's IT specialists and the kit they and software they use.
Quite clearly their evidence base for Broadband speeds is somewhat subjective and relies on user's perceptions rather than actual technical line based speed analysis. As a result these are subject to numerous variables, including correct set up of their computer(s) and settings within the software being used.
This is reflected in the low numbers of 'respondents' rather than true Openreach network broad band speed tests.
Their results cannot be seen as being scientifically sound:
"The research was carried out by One Poll who surveyed 2000 adults (1190 females and 810 males) living in the UK. Statistics available on request."
One of the key variables is the internet service provider's network which brings together the traffic of all of its customers. The consumer’s broadband experience will depend on the number of users who are simultaneously trying to access content.
Indeed this has the major affect upon the access speed of the individual both at home and in work.
Source: CWU / Shapps / Digital Strategy Consulting / Ofcom