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BT slams Talktalk over high-speed internet flim flam clap trap

BT boss disputes that trade costs are too high
Mon Sep 01 2014, 17:45

BT CONSUMER BUSINESS CEO John Petter has used the Telegraph newspaper to voice his opinion that Talktalk is talktalking a lot of rubbish about Ofcom and the cost of high-speed internet connections.

This salvo is part of an ongoing war of words that has Ofcom in the middle. We asked Talktalk if it wanted to respond to BT's response to something that it said, but it declined. Possibly because it is not still in school.

In a letter to the Telegraph, BT Business CEO John Petter said that Talktalk boss Dido Harding is banging a self-serving drum and apparently only has a vested interest in loosening BT's grasp on a market. Petter charged his peer with "opportunism" and being tight with investments.

"Dido Harding's charge that prices for fibre-optic broadband prices are high is contradicted by Ofcom data that the UK has faster speeds and lower prices than other parts of Europe, as well as by the many low-priced offers available, such as our 'fibre for a fiver' campaign," said Petter in his letter.

"The claim that BT is 'slowing the spread of fibre broadband' negates the £2.5bn investment made by BT shareholders, in stark contrast to her own company's special pleading and opportunism. BT is making a major contribution to the UK by building a major piece of national infrastructure that will benefit consumers and businesses for many years to come."

The BT Business CEO's letter comes roughly a month after Talktalk's Harding made her own comments in the Telegraph. Then she accused her rival of choking the market, and called on Ofcom to step in and start peeling back those fingers. Harding was replying to statements in the Telegraph by Petter, and accused her rival of profiteering.

"BT Group has a unique role, acting as the sole owner of a national infrastructure asset and the largest broadband provider dismissed Talktalk's complaint that BT's fibre pricing is 'anticompetitive'. Talktalk's concern is that BT is exploiting that to margin squeeze its competitors," she wrote.

"Ofcom recognises the danger and is proposing a minimum margin requirement between the price BT wholesales to competitors and the price it charges consumers. That is an essential step towards guaranteeing a competitive market. "

In June Ofcom rejected Talktalk's complaint that BT's fibre pricing is "anticompetitive", but did promise to keep an eye on pricing. µ


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