British Telecom rides the DSL Boom


Most incumbents should take a cue from British Telecom, which now has 5 million customers. Wow! That’s just 100,000 shy of SBC which has a footprint many times the size of BT’s home territory. Reports say that BT actually hit the target a year ahead of schedule, and it hooked up last million customers in just four months. I guess that whole wholesale strategy is working out for the company. By the way that adds up to one new user every 10 seconds. Mark Blowers of analyst Butler Group told VNUNet, “You have to give BT credit for delivering ahead of time and it is moving in the right direction, but the main thing is the services and there doesn’t seem to be much focus on delivering these.” BT currently offers 2 megabits per second connections, though it is experimenting with a 18-mbps service. BT also knows that cable operators are gearing up for competition and has a narrow window of opportunity to take leadership position in the market.


Om Malik

what i found most interesting about BT is their aggressive wholesale business. i think they are really letting other people do a lot of their dirty work aka marketing and support etc. i think it makes sense. if they build up traction, they have numbers to roll out more IP services and compete more effectively. but since i have not been to UK in years, this is just an impression. folks who live out there are more attuned to this.


I would not really agree that BT did wonders. I’d say they had an easy ride so far :

* thanks to the OFCOM sluggishness on imposing fair conditions for resellers
* the UK is a densely populated country so it is easy to roll out DSL
* LLU (Local Loop Unbundling) conditions have improved slowly and stifled competitions (only 50k unbundled lines vs. 1M in France)
* laggard cable operators

France has got the same population but scattered over a larger area – hence harder to deploy DSL! -> 6M DSL lines, 49% France Telecom, 51% competitors..

winds are about to turn for BT …


BT’s chief exec Ben Verwayeen (sp?) is hugely talented, i think better advice would be most chief execs should take a leaf out of his book and look at some of his management strategies. anyhow, BT should be applauded for the BB access level it has achieved in the UK but there is always a dark side, not only as your quote notes about speed but also usage cap – with the standard being 15gb/month which is a bit cack!

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