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Author Topic: Interview – Sky’s Position on Separating BT from its UK Telecoms Network  (Read 5291 times)

phi2008

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ISPreview speak to Sky's Chief Economist, Alan Sewell - http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/12/interview-skys-position-on-separating-bt-from-its-uk-telecoms-network.html

Lots of suggestions there might be a national FTTP rollout, but nothing concrete.  :-\
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Black Sheep

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Thanks for the link.  :)
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Bowdon

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Hmm, I'm surprised nobody as fully commented on the interview yet.

But I'll bite!  ;)

This is just my opinion as a user of the Internet who uses it every day. I've been using it like that since the days of CIX and Demon ISP. So here is my opinion / rant lol.

--

An interesting interview.

My comments about it are first agreeing with someone who commented on the site article saying that Sky is probably suggesting some things purely to diminish competition to make BT weaker. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some truth in that opinion.

I do think that some of the points made do have some merit.

There needs to be more investment in FTTP technology. OR shouldn’t be outsourcing work to companies that don't have a good reputation. It feels a bit like when BT outsourced their enquiries and information lines to India. Nobody likes it.

I agree that OR seems to be, for whatever reason, under invested. There is a lot of things that could be done to improve OR by streamlining the current processes that they have. I have mentioned improving the engineer information sharing idea in a previous post. What little money there is, isn't being used wisely.

I know that BT and Sky have been especially rivals in their different areas of business. They have sought to close each other out of business opportunities when it comes to either television channels in the case of Sky, or the phone network in the case of BT.

I think if OR in particular was much more pro-active in expanding FTTP then there wouldn’t be an issue. It probably does come down to money. Why is BT paying millions for football games when they are in the phone business? That is wasted money. It's not attracting people to BT as you still need a Sky system to view it.

OR really need to be expanded. More FTTP needs to be installed. There needs to be better information sharing between engineers. Fault network detection needs to be improved etc.

I know when I'm talking about OR it's not entirely their fault. It goes back to BT again.

I don't know what is the best option on the table as the way forward. But I know a LOT more could be done. It comes down to BT's handling of the situation. They could be a lot more open with everyone. There would be nothing to stop BT itself from changing a few things so other companies could invest in OR in exchange for information.

BT doesn't seem to want to compete with anyone. That's how it looks. But the status quo isn't going to work. They need to change and adapt, or that decision will be taken off them. They need to stop chasing television dreams and focus on what they are good at.
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Chrysalis

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it does sound like sky are anti g.fast and want FTTP instead (I agree with them).

Unlike BT sky have presence around the world so they do have first hand experience of how other markets work.
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Ronski

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I wonder if Sky want to shift from satellite distribution to solely IP based, which they couldn't do unless everybody had access to a suitable broadband connection.
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Weaver

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> it does sound like sky are anti g.fast and want FTTP instead (I agree with them).

I agree too. I can't imagine what the point of g.fast is, not unless your aim for god only knows what reason is to maximise the width of the the digital divide, the distance between the haves and have-nots meaning that you are happy with one end user having say 500 Mbps while their neighbour a few miles away at the same time is stuck with 1.5 Mbps or less.
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Dray

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I agree too. I can't imagine what the point of g.fast is, not unless your aim for god only knows what reason is to maximise the width of the the digital divide, the distance between the haves and have-nots meaning that you are happy with one end user having say 500 Mbps while their neighbour a few miles away at the same time is stuck with 1.5 Mbps or less.
The aim is to take fibre closer to the end user and then deliver better speeds from there to the user using the copper pair. One of the key points is keeping costs down.
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Weaver

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@dray - I hear you.
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Black Sheep

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I agree too. I can't imagine what the point of g.fast is, not unless your aim for god only knows what reason is to maximise the width of the the digital divide, the distance between the haves and have-nots meaning that you are happy with one end user having say 500 Mbps while their neighbour a few miles away at the same time is stuck with 1.5 Mbps or less.
The aim is to take fibre closer to the end user and then deliver better speeds from there to the user using the copper pair. One of the key points is keeping costs down.

Absolutely it is mate. ANY business model that's sole intention is to make profit, will utilise their existing assets as best they can. If that means for approx. 80% of EU's  the last few hundred metres are Cu/Al ...... then so be it. G.fast will still deliver 300-500Mbps it is anticipated.

The trials appear to be going well, judging by the few communiques from above, and another moot point ....... if not the whole crux of Broadband delivery ....... is a) What on God's Earth is Mr and Mrs average going to do with 300+ Meg let alone 1G from a fully FTTP network ??? and b) It doesn't come free, the higher the speed the higher the tariff.

I'm more than happy with my 66Mbps connection ............. in fact I could probably lend Weaver 30Mbps and still be happy with what I use it for.

All this noise about FTTP being the way forward ?? Of course it is ............. but someone's got to pay for it. That's either you and I, or the Government funding it ........ which means that again, it's you and I funding it.
G.fast will be completely sufficient for the very vast majority of EU's. 
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Weaver

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@BlackSheep  - much respect, as always.
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Black Sheep

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Ha ha ...... you mean you want me to post that 30Meg to you, don't you ??  ;) ;D Cheers, Weaver.  :blush:
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Weaver

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@BlackSheep nothing gets past you!

Best.
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Bowdon

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All this noise about FTTP being the way forward ?? Of course it is ............. but someone's got to pay for it. That's either you and I, or the Government funding it ........ which means that again, it's you and I funding it.
G.fast will be completely sufficient for the very vast majority of EU's.

It all comes down to money.

My opinion is that Openreach are doing an amazing job on the money they have available. But that money is mainly coming from one source, BT. This needs to change imho.

There needs to be a bigger fund to help Openreach do the job. I think its either going to be BT put more money in to it. The government put more money in to it. Or, some fund is setup by other ISP's, administered maybe by someone else, to use for network expansion/repair/new tech.
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Weaver

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I agree with Bowdon.
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WWWombat

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I think if OR in particular was much more pro-active in expanding FTTP then there wouldn’t be an issue. It probably does come down to money. Why is BT paying millions for football games when they are in the phone business? That is wasted money. It's not attracting people to BT as you still need a Sky system to view it.

I'm not sure why you believe that you need a Sky system to view "it".

Here, we're watching the rugby (no football here) on the BT sports channels, using just a YouView box. No Sky here. No satellite dish. No "Now TV". Not even BT Retail as ISP either - Plusnet instead. The channels are just multicast IPTV via the FTTC cabinet.

Wasted money? Well, I guess it depends what you think BT is up to. I happen to think they're finally going after Sky and VM in the part of the market that generates their biggest income: TV, and TV content. They want subscribers to be pulled off Sky's satellite, and off VM's cable, onto IP-based TV. They want them to stick too - all aimed at increasing the number of users *and* increasing ARPU.

For too long, Sky have treated broadband (and phone) as a "free extra", a commodity to be given away alongside their profitable market. VM haven't been much different ... and it is designed to make BT (Retail) look like a commodity player, with no product worth the "big bucks". BTRetail's job is to change the landscape entirely, and turn them into an equal of Sky, as far as TV content goes. Kinda like MEO in Portugal, part of the Portuguese incumbent.

That's why, whenever Sky tells Ofcom they should split Openreach, BT tells Ofcom they should regulate the TV market better. Both companies want to attack in the others' home market.

They need to stop chasing television dreams and focus on what they are good at.

BT's core market, nowadays, is moving data from A to B, but the profitable thing is when that data is TV content - just like it was in the eighties, when BT were banned from doing this.

The TV also happens to be the source (OK, sink really) of the greatest volume of data over the network.

Ironic: BT will invest more in the capability of the access network if, ultimately, we spend more money on TV content from them. Even if you don't want to watch their TV offering, your access network will benefit if more and more of your neighbours do!

It all comes down to money.

Yup. Even the money from BT is based on the guess/hope that they can break into the TV market enough.

But that money is mainly coming from one source, BT. This needs to change imho.

I think the Sky interview happens to tell us that Sky aren't interested in putting more money in. They want things even cheaper - and they want Ofcom to continue to regulate a split Openreach just as heavily as when it was within BT - when surely the obvious reason to pull Openreach out would be to free it of a lot of regulation.

This is the ISP market share trend:


If TT can't afford to invest, and VM won't invest, in Openreach's network, that really only leaves us with BT and Sky. But the one thing we don't see from Sky is an indication that they will invest.

I like the analysis in this story: "Sky's Mai Fyfield's counterargument, also in the Telegraph, is equally unpersuasive" (where, for balance, the author doesn't like Joe Garner's response either).
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