Just under five years ago Britain's BT was encouraged to
functionally separate. We're told the split has resulted in more
competition and better prices for customers. Some might also be
surprised by the impact it has on BT. It seems to have grown from
The UK makes an interesting case study for Australia right now.
There are parallels and some notable differences, including the
preference for Telstra to be structurally separated.
I called up a few key players to get their take on how the
experiment has worked over there, including:
David Stewart, competition policy director at Ofcom
Jon Furmston the director of the Equality of Access Office at BT
Carolyn Kimber, chair of the Communications Management Association
There were a few things I wanted to find out: in particular, is
functional separation enough? Is the push for structural separation
of Telstra a bit of overkill? I was also keen to see if the
arrangements helped or hindered investment in future
infrastructure. I'll leave you to judge the comments on that one.
There's also the question of what it did for investors? Did BT
shareholders lose out?
Have a listen and leave your thoughts in the Talkback section at
the end of this post.