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BT seeks Ofcom pledge ahead of network upgrade

14 апреля 2008

U.K. incumbent wants changes to universal service obligation before it commits to fibre investment.

The chief executive-designate of BT Group PLC is challenging U.K. telecommunications regulator Ofcom to change the company's universal service obligation, or USO, before it commits to investing billions of pounds in a new fiber-optic network, The Sunday Times reports, citing the soon-to-be CEO.

Ian Livingston, who in June will replace Ben Verwaayen as CEO, wants assurances from Ofcom that BT will not be left with soaring running costs and thinner profits if it installs fiber optic cables designed to carry a growing volume of television programs and data to homes.

"We will not spend material amount of money that will guarantee that we lose money for shareholders," the newspaper quoted him as saying."It's just not going to happen."

A spokesman at BT wasn't immediately available for comment.

An Ofcom spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires: "We note comments made by BT about the Universal Services Obligation. However, it's worth noting that changes to USO would require primary legislation."

The Ofcom spokeswoman said a consultation on the fiber optics program was launched in the autumn. Conclusions from the consultation are expected to be announced later this year.

Источник: Total Telecom

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