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Old 4th Oct 2005, 16:53   #1
mclean007
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Demand Naked DSL in the UK!

Okay, who else is fed up with having to hand over 10.50 a month to BT in line rental for a landline they never use, just so they can have broadband? I have a mobile and a work phone, and my call charges on the landline are usually about 30p a quarter, compared against 30 a quarter on rental.

Ideally, what we need is 'naked DSL' - i.e. a line which is active for broadband but not phone signals. This is already offered in some countries, and BT should be forced to offer it as well. Of course BT has a right to a nominal line rental for maintenance of the wires and the kit linking your house up to the exchange, but this should be charged to your ISP who can then bundle the cost into your monthly broadband subscription.

Until BT offer a naked DSL service, they are abusing their monopoly over the infrastructure, and are suffocating competition from VoIP providers, as well as ripping us off.

As a less radical step, but a step forward nonetheless, BT should be forced to allow ISPs to offer ADSL on lines which are on one of BT's light user schemes, the line rental for which can be as low as 10 per quarter. You might not be aware of these products (BT doesn't exactly shout about them) but they are available and are a good deal if you don't make many calls. However, and here's the kicker, you are arbitrarily precluded from having ADSL on a light user line.

Unfortunately for us, BT is in a monopoly position and, unless people like us complain about its unfair practices, it can just keep on doing whatever it likes. So please take 5 minutes to copy the email below and send it to your local MP. You don't even have to find their email address - just bang your postcode into www.writetothem.com and a handy web form will pop up! You could also email contact@ofcom.org.uk. If enough of us shout, they have to listen, so please contact your MP and spread the word and hopefully we can get enough pressure going to stop this unfair practice and free our broadband!

Quote:
Dear Mr. Hands,

Something that has been bothering me a lot recently is that I am obliged to pay line rental to BT for a telephone line that I do not use, simply so that I can have a broadband service. I am not unreasonable - I do not think that BT should be forced to provide access to its lines free of charge. However, I do not believe that the current situation is conducive to a competitive marketplace.

BT offers a range of line rental packages, including a so-called 'light user' package at a reduced quarterly rate. However, BT expressly precludes the use of such packages to users who wish to subscribe to a broadband service, even one provided by a third party internet service provider. The net effect of this is that the minimum monthly line rental for a BT line capable of sustaining a broadband connection is 10.50, representing the cost of BT Together Option 1, which offers not only line rental but a bundled tariff with special call rates.

Like most people I have a mobile phone, which is my primary contact number, and like many people I am also fortunate enough to have a telephone line at work which I can use. The net effect of this is that I rarely if ever made outgoing calls on my landline, to the extent that I have not as yet taken steps to have the line connected in my new home, despite having moved some three weeks ago. This means, of course, that I am without broadband. I have not yet decided whether it is worth the expense of the unused BT line, which adds over 60% to the cheapest 15 a month broadband deals.

The issue runs deeper than users being forced to pay 10.50 a month to BT on top of their broadband charges, however - by offering ADSL connections only to those with a calls-bundled BT line, BT is suffocating emerging competition in the form of VoIP (internet phone) providers. If the choice were (1) BT Together Option 1 at 10.50 per month or (2) for the sake of argument a 3 per month 'naked DSL line' plus the cost of a VoIP line, it might make economic sense for a lot of people to switch to VoIP. As it is, however, the choice is BT Together Option 1 at 10.50 a month or no broadband with which to operate a VoIP line. This is clearly an example of BT abusing its monopoly over physical infrastructure in order to perpetuate an anti-competitive practice, and pressure must be placed on Ofcom to put a stop to it.

I would ask you to raise this issue among your peers and to tackle this issue head-on. For your reference, please find below a selection of internet references on this subject.

http://www.adslguide.org.uk/newsarchive.asp?item=2293
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/copper/
http://www.vonage-forum.com/ftopic4859.html

Thanks for your attention and kind regards,
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Old 3rd Nov 2005, 10:17   #2
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^^ Bump for common sense
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Old 4th Nov 2005, 02:35   #3
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"MPs will ignore copied and pasted 'identikit' messages. " so it says on the link you gave.
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Old 4th Nov 2005, 08:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roll1
"MPs will ignore copied and pasted 'identikit' messages. " so it says on the link you gave.
Oops! Thanks for pointing that out.

Okay, further to roll1's comment, I would ask anyone in support of this idea not to copy and paste the text of my message, but to write their own message addressing similar points as mine, which is provided by way of a sample.
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Old 4th Nov 2005, 15:43   #5
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Before BT activated our exchange I was paying over 100/quarter for PAYG surfing and always trying to limit the online time. Now around 30 to BT and 75 to Pipex, same cost but much faster, unlimited so I'm online far more, incoming calls catered for, and the 30 to BT is shared with voice calls so it's really cheaper. I've also just had my speed doubled FOC, along with many other users.

I'm not sympathetic to your cause. You are in the nice position of being able to use the works phone for private calls but most people aren't. You don't begrudge paying a higher tariff for most mobile calls. Perhaps you should lobby your MP to bring mobile tariffs into line with BT.

BT have laid out a lot of money to bring broadband access to most of the UK, if we expect them to continue to up speeds they're entitled to a fee from the people using the line most, and these days that's surfers, not voice callers. I'm happy they don't charge an extra rental for a BB-enabled line, or operate a PAYG tariff.

Always nice to get something cheaper, but I don't think you have a case.
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Old 4th Nov 2005, 15:55   #6
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Getting 24Mbps broadband with LLU means that the internet is connected directly to the ISP and not BT, which means BT shouldn't be charging anything for the line as you are not using the service. However the exchanges are owned by BT, which they maintain and service, so some payment to BT will be necessary. But not at the rate they charge, I agree.
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Old 5th Nov 2005, 10:30   #7
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I agree that BT should make standalone broadband available - like telewest do with their cable connections. I prefer cable modem to be honest, a much smoother connection. Shame they don't have telewest in my area.
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 10:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillyWonka
However the exchanges are owned by BT, which they maintain and service, so some payment to BT will be necessary.
But that payment is levied from the ISPs by way of a rental and service charge for the space they occupy in BTs racks at the exchange and the power they draw, so BT is already being fairly compensated.
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 11:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
But that payment is levied from the ISPs by way of a rental and service charge for the space they occupy in BTs racks at the exchange and the power they draw, so BT is already being fairly compensated.
Ah, fair enough then I guess. I wonder how many people in the country actually use broadband only on the telephone line, would be nice to see some figures.
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 11:33   #10
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mainly just students sharing a house i would guess.

I do this and was thinking of switching to talk talk for line rental because they have much lower charges (last time i looked n e way)
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 12:29   #11
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Originally Posted by Rich_13
mainly just students sharing a house i would guess.
Doubt it.

There are probably a lot of people who occasionally use their landline to make and receive calls, because the call charges are lower than mobile charges. But given the deals you can get on mobile contracts nowadays, I would suspect a lot of those people are using the landline because it's there and they have to pay for it to be able to get broadband, but who would make a significant saving using just their mobile and dispensing with the BT Together 'deal'.
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 12:54   #12
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I for one dont use the phoneline for anything other than my adsl connection, everything else is on the mobile (basically cuz i get an insane amount of anytime/anynetwork calls every month)
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 12:59   #13
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yup. me too. Even when I used to have a landline, it was purely for ADSL. I made and received maybe 2 calls a month, usually when I had to call an 0845 or 0800 number, which doesn't come within my free cross net / any time mobile minutes. The amount it saved me as against using the mobile was maybe 50p per month, so 10.50 for line rental is hardly a good investment!
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 14:10   #14
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Get cable?
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 14:19   #15
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not available in many places, including in my area. And besides, that isn't the point - BT shouldn't be abusing their monopoly position as the ubiquitous telecoms provider to leverage sales of their own products.
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 15:17   #16
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we live in 'rip-off-britain'... extortionate prices are here to stay.
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 15:22   #17
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we live in 'rip-off-britain'... extortionate prices are here to stay.
and it's attitudes like that that allow companies to get away with it! Take a stand!
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 15:44   #18
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Quote:
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Get cable?
Seconded!
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 16:31   #19
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Same boat as mclean007 here, cable just isn't available here , used to have it and it was great (apart from the alleged 30gb cap)but then I moved
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Old 7th Nov 2005, 18:55   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
and it's attitudes like that that allow companies to get away with it! Take a stand!
I do! by doing what I can and talk with my feet.

I btake my business overseas where it's cheaper, I refuse to buy certain products because they are extortionately priced and I can live without them.

But as stated before... BT is a monopoly and a lot of people (like me) have no alternative. I could live off my cellular phone, but it does work out cheaper to have a land-line.
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