BT pricing under fire again

ISP Colloquium files formal ADSL pricing complaint with Oftel and e-Minister

BT found its pricing under fire again as business ISP Colloquium formally complained to e-Minister Patricia Hewitt and Oftel Thursday.

Colloquium rents local loop copper from BT to provide customers with ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) services. The present installation price is £1,078, which Colloquium's managing director Brian McMillan claims is ridiculously high.

"There is very little work involved in providing this service on BT's part," he said. "Basically an engineer needs to put a bit of wire between two racks and put a telephone socket on it. Engineers have told us that the whole job takes less than an hour and a half."

Colloquium is calling on Patricia Hewitt to put pressure on BT to drop costs. Equivalent installation costs in the US are around £88 according to McMillan and Colloquium recommends BT drop prices to around £150.

McMillan believes unbundling the local loop -- which would give other operators access to BT's network -- will force the price of leasing lines down but he is convinced BT is dragging its heels on the issue. "BT don't want to give people access to their copper. They want to control all of the network," he said.

BT denies its prices are too high. "They are very competitive," a BT spokesman said.

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