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Tuesday, 09 April 2013 09:54

Copper luddites stuff up the UK

Written by Nick Farrell



BT claims it is being picked on

BT boss Ian Livingston claimed that copper luddites were picking on BT because none of them want to invest in fibre.

BT has committed to spend £2.5bn on connecting two-thirds of British homes and businesses to fibre-optic cables which can deliver four times faster broadband than the copper network. The Government has pledged to help subsidise the roll-out, particularly to pay for the final third of the country that is "non-commercial".

But BT is getting a good kicking from the likes of Sir Charles Dunstone, the billionaire founder of Carphone Warehouse who has called for regulatory intervention to ensure BT does not get unfair state help. Sir Charles wants to regulate fibre to check where the state money is going.

He said that there is so much government money going into subsidising higher broadband speeds but no one really knows where it is going and how it is being spent. But Livingston said these sorts of criticisms are coming from copper Luddites.

“They don't' want to see the UK getting fibre. BT fibre is open to any provider in the UK on the same terms as BT – there are 50 or 60 of them, that's not what I call a monopoly."

Nick Farrell

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