British ISPs bicker over plans for fast rural broadband

BT hits back at rival's claims over unfair pricing for rural UK broadband

BT has questioned its competitors' commitments to developing fast broadband across rural Britain, following complaints from other ISPs about BT's control over essential parts of the network.

Other British ISPs including TalkTalk and Virgin Media wrote to government minister Ed Vaizey earlier this month to complain about BT's pricing to allow them to access the necessary poles and ducts.

The aforementioned group of UK ISPs claimed that BT's prices and terms and conditions for physical infrastructure access will limit the government's plans to roll-out fast broadband to rural Britain.

Rural broadband woes

The physical infrastructure access (PIA) process should offer rival broadband providers access to poles and ducts to carry fibre broadband to rural Britain.

BT's prices are said to be five times as high as the actual costs, according to its competitors.

"We are unanimous in the belief that PIA will be a commercial and policy failure if [BT's] Openreach does not revise its prices… the product is unfit to proceed into commercial use," the letter reads.

For its part, BT has been quick to issue a statement claiming it is: "The only company who has installed broadband equipment in exchanges serving the last 10% of the UK and so we would question whether these companies are genuinely interested in serving rural Britain given their track record."

Via PC Pro