BT monopoly causes widespread network failure

Sean M. Doran smd at
Wed Nov 21 17:23:37 UTC 2001

Sean Donelan writes:

| The joy of single provider service. 

No, you mean: the joy of a rapacious monopoly with a spineless regulator.

BT has successfully stalled opening itself up to competition
as required by EU and UK law, by sitting on the local loop.
Meanwhile, they themselves are deliberately slow on rolling
out modern broadband services (e.g., xDSL) compared to the
EU average.   In short, the UK is *the* backwater of Europe
when it comes to high-speed Internet connectivity -- it is rare
to find at all, and when you find it, it's not cheap.

That BT's outage affected so many people and organizations
is a horrific indictment of the disastrous policy line the
regulator has taken, and the incompetence of the government
when it comes to promoting its stated aim of increased
connectivity for UK residents.

The official line is at:

Even the OFFICIAL statistics are depressing:

Number of fixed lines in the UK: 35 million 
Number of BT ADSL connections: 50 thousand

There are FOUR sites where local loop unbundling can happen,
and they are not remotely in the biggest population centres.

By comparison:,,t269-s2092106,00.html

BT admits that it has only handed over 163 residential lines
to other operators

By comparison, during last night's election coverage in Denmark,
there were 29000 DSL-speed connections to streaming servers 
operated by one of the main TV operators.  Nearly everyone
I know in the IT field has DSL at home.  Operators are offering
low-price SDSL.   Unbundling is working.

Not only is Denmark a much smaller economy than the UK,
it also has some very different geographical challenges:
it is made up of 400 islands.   Yet, even in areas of
relatively low population concentration (esp compared to,
for example, London), it is possible to get DSL connectivity
provided from at least one operator, and often several (4+). 

Most EU countries can claim the same sucess as DK.

Shame on the UK's government, which is directly responsible
for the regulatory environment which deprives a huge percentage
of the population from getting better, cheaper service than
they get from their expensive, unreliable monopoly called British Telecom!

| [BT lost]
| of its national IP backbone on Tuesday affecting DSL and Dialup
| service across multiple ISPs in the UK. 

These ISPs had NO CHOICE wrt multihoming.  They can thank their government.

| According to news
| reports, this affected almost all DSL service in the UK.

Right, because of the 50000 or so DSL customers in the country,
a maximum of *163* are not supplied by BT.

| What happened to BT?  Is this a unique "feature" of the UK marketplace
| or can the same thing happen in the USA?

You have evil incumbents in the USA too.  Beware.


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