Broadband wholesaler Bulldog Communications sunk its teeth into BT yesterday at the ISPCON event in London.
It called for internet service providers (ISPs) not to fall for BT's "predatory" price cuts for broadband, and to influence government and industry players to push for greater local loop unbundling.
Addressing an audience of ISPs, Bulldog spokesman Vincent Pickering urged them not to back BT's plans to cut the price of broadband access for business by up to half, arguing that it would damage competition and choice.
Listing a litany of obstructive practices Bulldog had encountered from the incumbent, Pickering told delegates: "I ask ISPs to appear on the broadband agenda because you have the ability to influence people in decision-making positions.
"Current pricing plans are a quick-fix solution. Many ISPs may see it as an opportunity to provide cheaper DSL [digital subscriber line], but it will also kill off the other DSL players, leaving ISPs with one flavour of DSL, less innovation and less choice."
An Oftel spokeswoman said that BT had given no official notification of its much-publicised plans to cut broadband costs in half.
According to a report out this week from the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, just 0.01 per cent of Europe's local lines have been opened to competitors.
On the positive side, Pickering said that broadband Britain was "over the worst of it and getting there slowly".
He maintained that in 12 months' time the market would be far more open and that the addition of Ofcom, the new media watchdog due to be active by 2003, would be crucial to future competition.
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