Talktalk Lambasts BT's Wholesale Price Hike

After pointing finger towards BT’s contentious renewal contracts, Carphone Warehouse’s broadband arm, TalkTalk, in a fresh set of accusations asserted that the planned hike in the amount BT charges other ISPs for installing devices in its exchanges could turn out to be an obstacle in providing broadband connections to poor households.

In its statement, TalkTalk notified on Monday that BT’s proposed increase in line charges for local loop unbundling (LLU) will "raise the barrier to broadband access for lower income households".

Back in 2005, UK’s telecom industry watchdog Ofcom necessitated BT to expand its access division, which eventually became Openreach, as a distinct body, in order to allow other ISPs to use the country’s telecom infrastructure without requiring to go to BT as a wholesaler.

BT has already submitted its plans to increase the fees from third parties, and this renewed cost structure is expected to be announced around next month, but TalkTalk claimed that the rates are expected to be raised by 11 percent, from £81.69 annually to a maximum of around £91 a year.

Quoting the adverse impacts of the price hike, Dr Chris Doyle, of Warwick Business School, said in a statement, “Up to 1.8 million people could be locked out of Britain’s digital future if proposed increases to the price BT is permitted to charge for access to its network are allowed to go through”.

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Our Comments

Thinkbroadband believes that increase in price would be roughly equivalent to £1 a month. BT also says that the price of broadband in the UK is the cheapest in Europe and that the money will be welcomed to improve the broadband infrastructure nationwide. Furthermore, BT wholesale put forward the fact that broadband in the country has not been increased for four years already while other utility sectors have raised their prices several times over the same period.

Related Links

TalkTalk attacks BT local-loop price hikes

(ZDNet)

Broadband prices could increase under BT plans

(Telegraph)

TalkTalk Warns of BTs Rising Broadband Prices

(ISP Review)

Could BT’s wholesale price rise alienate poorer households?

(Broadband Genie)

TalkTalk to present report to Ofcom on BT access costs

(Telecom Paper)

1.8m may be stopped from accessing web

(PC Advisor)