Is BT about to Ditch Fixed Line Phones?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

BTAccording to sources BT considers existing telecoms regulations obsolete and wishes to drop its commitment to fixed line telecommunications.

The future strategy vision from BT forecasts "IP services will be used nationwide by 2025". It considers a review currently being undertaken by Ofcom (the telecoms regulator) into digital communications as "an opportunity to roll back obsolete rules in this area to create a level playing field".

According to BT, "Regulation has not kept up with the massive growth in competition and rapid pace of technology change over the last decade, whilst there are many overlaps between British and European laws which could be removed and simplified. Such measures would improve efficiency, stimulate competition, and encourage investment in the UK's connected future."

Ofcom launched a review of digital communications in March this year, to ensure telecoms companies have the incentive to invest in their infrastructure and to innovate and flesh out future competition policy in the market. It will also look to identify whether there are opportunities for deregulation.

According to Ofcom, internet players such as Skype and WhatsApp currently deliver a broad range of voice, video and messaging services by broadband. Most of the UK's fixed network operators now have plans to emulate these companies, delivering services over their broadband networks and eventually switching off their traditional voice networks.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, almost everything imaginable.

A power outage in general used to make the ordinary telephone network almost immune as it was powered by its own current and the exchanges were working on backup generators. When, however, there is no power in the home then the broadband and VoIP phone is rather useless. When your router is down so it your broadband, unless you access all those service via a smartphone. But what guarantees that the service will work in a power outage? None!

The reason BT (and other fixed line telephone providers) wants to get rid off the regulation and fixed line phones is because of costs eating up some of the profits. It is all about that and shows, once again, the danger capitalism is to the people and privatization of essential services, be this post, telephone, or other utilities.

Time to bring all those utilities, including BT and other telecommunications, the Post Office (Royal Mail), the railroads, etc., back into public ownership and give them the brief that they are to perform and make the stick by it. Public utilities and services are not meant to be a for-profit operation but one for the people. What is so difficult to understand there?

© 2015