by Carlo Longino

Competition In Broadband? Look Overseas

from the british-invasion dept

Carphone Warehouse started as a mobile-phone retailer in the UK, but has expanded its offerings with a virtual mobile operator and a fixed-line telecoms business. It's been causing quite a stir over there this weekend with rumors that it's preparing to offer free broadband to customers that also buy fixed-line phone service from it. Details of the plan are still unclear, as is the company's motivation for it -- whether it's using the broadband as a loss leader for other services, or it's just a short-term land grab. But either way, such an offering would spark a price war in the UK broadband market, which already features a healthy level of competition thanks to a regulatory decision to force the one-time monopoly, BT, to open up. BT is required to wholesale DSL access to third parties, but also to allow them access to local exchanges to install their own broadband equipment (as Carphone Warehouse is doing). It's a far cry from the situation here in the US, where regulators dither and let incumbent telcos continue to abuse the public benefits they've been handed while letting them wriggle out of pretty much every competitive measure imposed on them. All the while, the FCC sings the praises of the competitive US market, while other countries like France lead the way.

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  • identicon
    ben, 10 Apr 2006 @ 10:58am


    you can say that again

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jimmy Bear Pearson, 10 Apr 2006 @ 11:02am

    Similar to Cable?

    In my home town, we can purchase many different vendors for local, long distance, POTS-based broadband, and dial-up. Things may not be perfect, but telco services remain competitive.

    However, Time-Warner Cable has a lock on cable-based television services. TWC (along with others in many other places) have a strangle-hold on television delivery services in our area. We use only Standard content cable, and our bill has r i s e n $30 in five years. The cost of a competitor's start-up cost would be astronomical, and since regulations allow TWC (and others in other areas) to monopolize the coax, no end is in sight.

    Although there are alternatives such as OTA television and satellite-based television services - OTA is spotty at best and leaves out the great educational stuff my kids like, and satellite-based services don't save any money (and introduce cost) for houses with two or three main TV sets.).

    Perhaps revolution is needed in both Telco and coax?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Z LIU, 11 Apr 2006 @ 10:21am

    A poignant undertow emerges for some when they read the piece of news about the Carphone.However, a carveat should be reminded while a lot of CLECs enter the market by LLU, either incumbents and CLECs lack the incentive to extend their fibers when a mandated unbundling, a regulatory taking for incumbents and a regulatory belssing for CLECs exist.Without extending fibre, Europeans will benefit at most what ADSL2+ can provide, which are less than 26Mbps in most cases with one pair of twisted copper line.
    So, the termination of LLU does not mean a bad thing per force. Rather, it offers the incentives for players to invest in fibers which give customers more bandwidths ultimately

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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