Scottish MPs Say BT's 10Mbs Broadband Offer Only Suits BT

By Gary Cutlack on at

BT's apparently generous offer to put in place a minimum of 10Mbps broadband for the final few per cent of the country is not going down well in the rural parts of Scotland, with local MPs saying it could end up strengthening BT's monopoly and dissuading other firms from competing to install superfast connections.

The letter from Scottish MPs to Culture Secretary Karen Bradley warns that BT's deal would end negotiations with potential suppliers to wire-up people in broadband notspots to superfast connections, which are being coordinated in Scotland under the R100 scheme that wants 100 per cent of premises to be on at least 30Mbps by 2021.

Scotland's rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: "The emerging USO proposal risks undermining that engagement by apparently concluding that it will not be commercially viable for any provider other than BT to deliver in white areas. What has emerged as a result risks entrenching, even extending, BT's monopoly position in rural areas and could deter alternative suppliers from bidding for R100 contracts."

He also questions whether BT's 10Mbps minimum offer is particularly future proofed, as even today, in households with children, smartphones and everyone crying about whose turn it is on the Netflix account, a 10Mbps connection can hardly cope with demand. [BBC]

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