It’s no secret that Internet speeds in some part of the UK are absolutely shocking and are struggling enough with the OfCom mandated 10Mbps minimum download speeds. That’s why over 120 UK MPs have called for BT to split the company’s control of the UK’s broadband infrastructure, also known as BT Openreach, from the rest of BT.
According to report from the British Infrastructure Group, called BroadBad, BT has received over £1.7 billion in publish cash to continue its rollout of “superfast” services across the UK, but still 5.7 million people are still stuck with slow speeds.
The reason? Well according to the report, it’s BT’s reliance on “outdated copper technology” inevitably delaying a “fully fibre” network across the UK.
“We believe that Britain should be leading the world in digital innovation. Yet instead we have a monopoly company clinging to outdated copper technology with no proper long-term plan for the future. We need to start converting to a fully fibre network so we are not left behind the other nations who are rushing to embrace digital advancement. However, we will only achieve this by taking action to open up the sector.
Given all the delays and missed deadlines, we believe that only a formal separation of BT from Openreach, combined with fresh competition and a concerted ambition to deliver will now create the broadband service that our constituents and businesses so rightly demand.”
In addition, BT has not only missed deadlines, but has been unpredictable and slow when rolling out decent connections to more rural areas.
The proposal, which is pretty lengthy, ultimately states that unless the two companies split, the UK will quickly fall behind and become inhospitable to competition compared to the rest of the world in terms of connectivity, which will ultimately hurt businesses and its users.
Fortunately, there are a number of companies looking outside of BT Openreach for getting fibre connections to the home, Sky is currently trialling Fibre to the Home connections across the United Kingdom as are a company named Gigaclear who have rolled out 5Gbps Internet in a few select locations. The only issue is that these speeds come at a price.
BT has since commented on this report to The Guardian saying that its “misleading and ill-judged”.
The 121 MPs who signed the report include former Conservative cabinet minister Grant Shapps, the Lib Dem former Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael, and the Labour MP Helen Goodman.