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Recession may force BT to put next-generation network on hold

The economic recession has called into question BT's plans to spend £1.5bn bringing the next generation of super-fast broadband services See broadband and broadband service provider.  to 10m British households within the next four years.

Chief executive Ian Livingston Livingston, family of American statesmen, diplomats, and jurists. Robert R. Livingston (1654–1728)


Robert R. Livingston, 1654–1728, b.
 admitted yesterday that he had been contacted by company shareholders who believed BT would be better off holding onto its cash, instead of spending it installing fibre-optic networks across the country.

Livingston said the recession meant that regulator regulator,
n the mechanical part of a gas delivery system that controls gas pressure that allows a manageable flow of drug vapor to escape.


regulator

see reducing valve.
 Ofcom Ofcom
Noun

(in Britain) Office of Communications: a government body regulating the telecommunications industries

Ofcom n abbr (Brit) (= Office of Communications Regulation) →
 must allow BT to make a return on its investment in the new service — which will see broadband broadband

Term describing the radiation from a source that produces a broad, continuous spectrum of frequencies (contrasted with a laser, which produces a single frequency or very narrow range of frequencies).
 speeds increase to up to 40 megabits a second, more than twice the theoretical maximum of BT's current network — or it will not be economic to carry out.

"But I have to tell you there are some shareholders who say 'you know something, don't do that, don't do a whole lot of other things. That leaves you with a lot more cash and cash today is worth a lot more than cash in a few years' time'," said Livingston.

In July, BT announced it would spend £1.5bn putting fibre to the streetside cabinets that connect with the copper phone lines that go into 10m UK homes. At a time when the success of the BBC iPlayer “iPlayer” redirects here. For other uses, see iPlayer (disambiguation).

BBC iPlayer (formerly known as iMP, Integrated Media Player, Interactive Media Player, and MyBBCPlayer
 is putting pressure on internet service providers Internet service provider (ISP)

Company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. For a monthly fee, ISPs provide computer users with a connection to their site (see data transmission), as well as a log-in name and password.
 (ISPs), fibre to the cabinet could allow families to watch high-definition movies over the web and play bandwidth-hungry interactive online games at the same time.

BT said at the time that the plan would go ahead only if Ofcom agreed to allow the company to make a proper return when it lets other ISPs use this new network.

Ofcom and the government's adviser on next generation access networks, former Cable & Wireless boss Francesco Caio, have since said that industry, not the government, will have to pick up the tag for the installation of super-fast broadband networks This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now.
. Ofcom is still deciding what the regulatory framework around next-generation networks will look like.

Livingston, who announced the £1.5bn investment as one of his first moves when he took over, said that if the economics were right for the long term then he would still invest.

"I personally believe if it is the right thing to do as a 20-year decision it is the right thing to do," he said. "But we need to have the environment in which our shareholders feel there is a good chance of us making a return. If we cannot have that environment this is not the time to be taking on sure-fire losses."
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Author:guardian.co.uk
Publication:guardian.co.uk
Date:Nov 14, 2008
Words:422
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