BT faces added pressure to accept local loop bid

Earthlease may up its offer. How long can BT keep saying 'no'?

Earthlease may up its offer. How long can BT keep saying 'no'?

Earthlease, the consortium which has already made one failed bid for BT's local loop has said it may be prepared to increase its £7.8bn offer. US finance group Babcock & Brown has been meeting with city analysts to discuss the deal it is trying to complete in conjunction with a number of other companies under the Earthlease banner. According to the Financial Times the analysts believe the consortium is now willing to raise its offer though no details as to by how much have been disclosed. Any increased offer is likely to add greater pressure to BT who has already come in for criticism from its shareholders for turning down the first bid. BT's stronghold on the local loop has so far been a major stumbling block in the roll out of high speed internet access in the UK. If successful in its bid, Earthlease promises to open up the local loop to competing broadband operators, breaking BT's monopoly and providing the consumer with greater choice.