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BT Chief Exec talks about VoIP, Broadband, Dabs and more

48 hours ago, I responded to a request posted on the Sun website (UK's biggest daily newspaper) asking to send questions to one of the most powerful men in the UK telecommunications industry, BT Chief Exec, Ben Verwaayen. Five out of twelve of my answers were selected. No big scoop but some interesting information and a well-polished interview.

Here they are with the answers.

Q : UK Broadband QoS (Quality of Service) is problematic. 8Mb lines provide with rarely more than 3Mb/s. What is BT doing to improve this in the short term?

Ben says: The roll out is happening step by step, exchange by exchange. But expect better as time goes forward.

Q : What is BT's biggest nightmare as a company? Where would wireless VoIP be ranked?

Ben says: We don’t want to disappoint customers and when we do we must do everything we can to put it right as soon as possible. We have over 100 million customer contacts every year, so we do understand that sometimes things go wrong. But we want to rectify it as fast as we can.

VoIP is a great opportunity for customers and for BT. We already are very successful in offering VoIP and voice-over-broadband.

Q : Where does the recent acquisition of Dabs fit in your overall strategies, are there any other such acquisitions going to happen anytime soon?

Ben says: Getting products out over as many channels as possible. The net is becoming more and more popular.

Q : Can you tell us more about BT as a provider of Global services?

Ben says: We serve business customers all around the globe. That is a fast growing business.

Q : Rumour has it that BT is looking forward to become an important Quadplay competitor (internet, TV, land line and mobile), can you tell us more about it?

Ben says: BT will launch a whole host of new services this year, including personalized TV.

Below are the seven questions which were not asked

Q : Is launching a Wanadoo-like portal anytime soon?

Q : AOL is rumoured to investigate exiting the UK market. Does grabbing the 3rd biggest UK Internet actor something you might think of?

Q : What is your opinion about the raging debate on Net-Neutrality that is dividing the US?

Q : What is the logic of the investment in the wired-only 21CN when quite a few of your competitors view wireless as the way to go.

Q : Would BT be ready to provide with a service that would help customers using their lines identify possible transfer rates?

Q : Is using Peer-to-Peer something that BT is thinking of in a near future.

Q : A few years ago, the then director of BT's Future labs predicted in .Net Magazine (UK) that technology would cause the fall of humanity. Has he been sacked yet? ;-)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.