The IFB News Pipe

BT told to open up cable network to competitors – opportunity to look forward with smarter planning

29 February 2016

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Comment from Graeme Gordon, the CEO of leading independent ICT managed service provider IFB in Aberdeen following today’s news that communications watchdog Ofcom says BT must open up its cable network and allow competition to improve UK internet connections. IFB’s chief executive officer Graeme Gordon says: “BT routes go right back to nearly 170 years ago and like an incumbent national provider that has been deregulated it has struggled to keep competitive pace. “It is heavily regulated in what it can and cannot do for good reason as the national infrastructure needs predictability and stability – if you look at the US for example where no single national provider exists for many reasons the areas of not spots and super-fast connectivity vary wildly, along with costs and service levels. “In saying that we shouldn’t be looking back at how badly BT was deregulated or is performing but looking forward at the infrastructure and services levels we need from our national digital network. “The end user cost and speed options for copper connections have plateaued over the last 3 years meaning that the majority of connections in the UK haven’t got any faster or cheaper.  Meanwhile fibre connections continue to drop in price per megabit and continue to deliver breath-taking increases in speeds. “It is this drive for fibre to premise networks, such as IFB delivers with the Aberdeen Core network that we should be looking to BT and other providers to deliver. “Government can help here through smarter planning – where digital infrastructure must be part of granting planning permission for a new building or development as electricity and water are. Government should also look at how taxation affects the roll out of new fibre network and could encourage these through a lightening on the “fibre tax” together with more progressive view on planning applications.” IFB is the anchor partner behind Aberdeen CORE, the state-of-the-art pure fibre network that is helping make Aberdeen Scotland’s first Gigabit City. The firm is converting a strong pipeline of businesses looking to connect to the Aberdeen CORE as the network reaches their area. It has already connected its first customers to the CORE network and is providing live, ultra-fast connectivity services to sites in the city centre. Since 1996, IFB has been providing critical connectivity and digital services to their growing client base, to become a recognised and innovative Digital Service Provider for core business ICT infrastructure services. An independent company based in Aberdeen, IFB service clients across the UK, and internationally in a wide range of sectors including energy, public sector, professional services and third sector.

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