British Telecom accuses US rivals of hurting competition

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A BT Group executive has said the US should require its telecommunications companies to allow access to their networks at regulated prices, similar to the rules already in place in the UK, the Financial Times reported this Sunday.

British Telecom says US rivals hurting competition

Bas Burger, who is president of British Telecom’s Americas unit, told the FT that a lack of regulation has hampered competition in the US, where AT&T and Verizon control more than 80% of the telephone and broadband lines that are used by homes and businesses. Burger said BT must charge customers more as it has to pay large fees to US rivals to carry data over the lines.

Contracts that British Telecom and others have with US telecoms companies should be regulated to guarantee minimum quality of service, he stated. For example, US companies have no fixed timeframe to fix an outage when it takes down one of BT’s networks, the report said.

British Telecom regulator Ofcom is said to be considering a breakup of BT, the UK’s main provider, after rivals said it abuses its market position and has failed to invest in the broadband networks the rivals rely on.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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