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BT monopoly remains as unbundling fails to attract competitors

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Oftel have been forced to call a meeting between BT and other telco's after the unbundling process has failed to attract competitors to use the exchanges that previously only BT had access to.

The idea of unbundling the local loop was part of the European Union's strategy to allow more telco's to offer competitive services for customers rather than allowing the continuation of a monopoly by one organisation which exists currently.

BT has already allowed access to their exchanges in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds, however, this has not attracted any other telco's to take up the opportunity, other than Eircom who are now rolling out broadband services in Belfast.

Reasons given for this failure to attract other telcos has been that BT dragged their heels in allowing access to their exchanges which resulted in other telcos not being able to provide a service soon enough and also the costs that the service providers themselves would have to incur resulted in them withdrawing their services.

Providers such as ntl and Telewest state that they are to remain with providing broadband via their cable systems and Energis who originally did show interest, withdrew and are claiming to be cutting back their ADSL investment because of the way that BT handled the process.

This means that BT will remain as a monopoly and the opportunities for consumers to take advantage of cheaper broadband services promised by unbundling is failing to materialise. Oftel intend to get all telco's together so that all problems and difficulties can be discussed to see whether there is a way forward.

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