BT hits back at MP’s “ponderous monopoly” jibe

BT Openreach chief Olivia Garfield has denied accusations from MP David Davis that the company has turned into a “ponderous monopoly”.

BT hits back at MP's

Davis penned a piece in yesterday’s Times, suggesting the Government should take advantage of unemployed labour to build Britain’s fibre broadband network, after claiming that the £25 billion required to build a nationwide fibre network was “more than the ponderous, monopolistic companies in this sector are willing to risk”.

We have thousands of highly skilled engineers working on our fibre deployment

In a letter to the newspaper today, Garfield claims that Davis “paints an unnecessarily bleak picture of the UK broadband market”.

“BT is not sitting still,” Garfield insists, “which is why we are investing £2.5 billion on a new fibre-optic network that will deliver faster broadband to two thirds of UK homes.”

She also counters Davis’s accusations that Britain is falling behind other countries. “It may be the case that the UK is catching up with South Korea and Japan in terms of speed but the rollout of fibre in those countries has been helped by substantial government subsidies, regulatory freedoms and the high density of apartment blocks.”

Finally, Garfield dismisses Davis’s suggestion that laying fibre is low-skilled labour that could be performed by untrained jobseekers. “We have thousands of highly skilled engineers working on our fibre deployment, with our network being available to all broadband suppliers on an open wholesale basis.”

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