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BT’s announcement regarding its transition to a ‘21st Century Network’ is welcomed but it demonstrates a lack of ambition says the UK’s leading broadband campaign group. They argue it’s:

Not ambitious enough – reluctant to launch Fibre to the Home in the 2010 timescale
Vague – no clarity on the sorts of services they expect to launch, the types of data speeds they envisage. No clear statement of the potential benefits to customers
Heavy on benefits for BT and its shareholders and light on benefits for users. The massive cash savings seem not to be destined reduce costs to end users but to grow BT's cash generating ability.
This announcement follows the standard incumbent pattern of 'staged evolutionary progress on BT's terms' says ABC’s consumer advocate Errol Ziya. Or in other words, “Do the minimum necessary as slowly as necessary to stave off 'forced' change. BT is making vague and fairly unspecific 'jam tomorrow' promises”.

The announcement is also about creating a network that could allow BT to create and control next generation services. ABC is advocating a “best network model” so that other players (and importantly end users) can create next generation services and applications. “We welcome BT’s announcement in as far as it represents progression (compared with no progression). It begins to look like a 'best network' attempt says Ziya – “But one where the vast bulk of the benefits of doing this remain with BT and not with users who need to move data at lowest cost.”

ABC, a not-for-profit campaigning organisation has a technology-neutral and supplier-neutral stance. ABC agrees with the Government’s target of making the UK the most competitive and extensive market in the G7.

“We hope that BT Wholesale will open up much more about the future availability of interconnection products on its 21CN.“ Ziya points out that 95% of existing interconnection products (BT wholesale products that allow competing operators to interconnect to BT's network) are based on the old PSTN network.

“By announcing that they are going to ‘bypass’ and replace their old PSTN network they could create an opportunity for 'lobbying' on the creation of an entirely new sets of interconnection products. New network is fine - but we need new interconnection products and a new affordable basis for interconnection products. It should not be BT that defines these in a vacuum, in a reactive and stalling way. They should be defined proactively and separately from BT in partnership with stakeholders. We look forward to working with BT, other industry players and Ofcom in defining the 2010 agenda.”

For further information on ABC:

For additional information, please contact:

Gwen Rymill – ABC Office: 01937 529 362

Erol Ziya 00 90 392 81 55016

or Brian Condon CEO ABC 07785 525861

Notes to Editors

· ABC is an independent campaign group - a 'not for profit' organisation with clear aims and government and industry credibility.

ABC aims to influence their agenda focusing on universal affordable access to broadband with strong views on social and geographical inclusion and demand generation and take-up

ABC partners with industry and the public sector - helping them keep their thinking 'on-track'

ABC has a significant involvement in major initiatives and events as well as running its own throughout the UK. These include events such as Wireless LAN, The BSG Conferences, its own series of ABC conferences and regional and specialist events and seminars

ABC helps to deliver connectivity and content by working with a network of partner organisations such as the Community Broadband Network (

Next big events :

Hardcore Wireless 2
Harrogate July 12th 2004

Scottish ABC Conference

Aviemore, November 2nd & 3rd 2004

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Access to Broadband Campaign (ABC) in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit