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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Vonage UK
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Blackfly
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: DSL users, how to escape the BT line? Reply with quote Back to top

I first saw Vonage in the US many years ago. Now northern Scotland has had access to broadband internet for a while, I'm trying to encourage my parents to utilise their ADSL line for Vonage and save money.
Unfortunately, it seems that to have ADSL service (with whichever company you choose...) you must pay BT for a voice line?
Since Vonage have recently started up in the UK, does anyone know if they plan to take action against this abuse of monopoly?
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darrenmc
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

There's not much you can do....there are alternative line providers ntl....etc but you have to be living in the right area.

In areas where you can get nothing but BT the Vonage calling packages don't add a huge value over say BT option 3, if you are like myself and heavily use BT SMS system.

As I work from home I use Vonage to provide cost effective business lines for me leaving the residential line with BT.

But this is not everyone's way of doing things....if anyone else has any good suggestions.
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michael550
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I do not agree that BT is abusing its market power.

What you are asking for is called “Naked DSL” and it is not available in many EU countries. However, this is a commercial decision from ISPs to provide their service only over a line which has existing BT voice service on it. If any ISP wanted to offer a Naked DSL service it would be open for them to take over the BT line and provide you just that service ie IP but not voice. However, this would likely be quite a bit more expensive than service provided over an existing BT voice line because, in that case, the fixed costs of the line, in so far as they are shared between voice and data services, are paid for already in your BT line rental. These would still need to be paid on a Naked DSL line so would need to be included in the price of the DSL service.

If you do want someone to take over your BT line then I would suggest you try UK online, Bulldog or Talk Talk. However, I think you will find that all of them will still bundle circuit-switched voice along with the data product. However, this is their choice, not BT’s.

Regards

Michael
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Blackfly
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Actually I think what we're talking about is termed "local loop unbundling", and I've just come across info that some ISP's (in areas BT allows it) are going ahead with it - such as bulldog broadband.
As a Demon customer for over 10 years, I'd rather not change my ISP, but we'll see what happens.

I do still see this as an abuse of monopoly though, as BT are the only game in town, and this is because they were the only physical line laid down back before there were any telecoms companies.
I seem to remember the monopolies commision coming down on them and cotinuing to squeeze them into line (slowly) - such as local loop unbundling.

Best case scenario though would be if mobile phone companies took a similar approach to broadband as companies like Verizon in the US - they aim to compete with cable modem, not charge £10 per MB to business users spending company money.
There's also talk of long range WiFi, but prob a long way off yet.
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michael550
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Local loop unbundling is a wholesale service. Your service provider can buy it from BT but you can not. BT offers local loop unbundling at the majority (and an increasing number) of its exchanges allowing third parties to take over the line.

Naked DSL is the industry term for the provision of DSL service without the simultaneous provision of dial tone which I think is what you wanted.

Any ISP could provide Naked DSL over an unbundled line but I do not think anyone does so as this would be, at least as a consumer product, too expensive since the fixed costs of the line would be included in the price the broadband making it much more expensive than a standard broadband offer.

I still do not think that any ISP will provide you data without voice but the unbundlers you mentioned will get you away from BT.

However, since BT do make local loop unbunding available which would allow the serviced you want I do not see the abuse of market power.

Michael
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Blackfly
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thing is, they don't make it available at my exchange, and with less than 100 ppl on the exchange their 21st century network will be running by the time they do.
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jamesm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:37 am    Post subject: DSL users, how to escape BT line Reply with quote Back to top

This is a really good question and something that everyone should be concerned with.

Basically, customers in the UK do not have the choice of being able to select their telephone provider independently of their broadband provider.

Local loop unbundling simply allows companies like Bulldog to install their own equipment in the BT exchange and then sell you phone service and broadbad exactly the same as if you were buying from BT. NO difference.

Naked dsl allows the customer to buy the broadband service independently from the phone service. You could subsribe to a broadband service and then buy your phone service from any other provider whether it's BT or Vonage.

In other countries--eg Nordic region, the regulators have obliged the incumbent provider (eg BT equivalent) to make naked DSL available. In the US, the regulator, FCC, has now made Verizon offer naked dsl as a condition of its acquisition of MCI.

We have done significant customer research on this topic and customers have told is they really want the choice.

For those members of this forum who really want to pursue this I suggest you write directly to Stephen Carter, Chief Executive of OFCOM stating that you believe that OFCOM should be taking a more direct role in promoting or mandating naked dsl.

It is the only way there will be any serious choice in the UK.

regards

Kerry Ritz
Vonage UK
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michael550
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Kerry

I am sorry but I do not see why you see this as a regulatory problem.

Whilst I understand that this is not the business model you adopt there is nothing to stop Vonage from offering naked DSL to customers in the UK, at least if they are served by an exchange offering LLU. All you, or any ISP, would need to do, is to unbundle the relevant loop and use it to offer a naked DSL service.

In addition, BT offers a wholesale line rental service which allows any competing operator to break the BT voice billing relationship extremely easily.

As I am sure you are aware this is the position that OFCOM has taken in its review of Voip regulation in suggesting that it does not need to do anything on naked DSL. If anyone is interested the consultation is at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/voipregulation/voipregulation.pdf and is open for another week.

Furthermore, even if these two options are not sufficient any operator can request a naked DSL product from BT and can refer a dispute to OFCOM if the negotiations fail. However, BT’s position is that no operator wants this product.

I am no cheerleader for BT or for OFCOM but simply because a product that someone would like is not being provided does not mean that there is a regulatory problem. In this case I can not see that there is.

Michael
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Blackfly
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the info Kerry, I'll be looking into that.

michael550
I don't quite understand how you can put forward views like this and then try to claim you're no cheerleader for BT?
The basic principle being discussed here is not about a product not being made available by a company, it'a about being forced to pay money to company B in order to get service from company A - this is due to legacy issues surrounding BT's monopoly. All quite simple.
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michael550
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I am not a cheerleader for BT or OFCOM in that I don’t have any inherent desire to support their position. I don’t work for them or any other National Regulatory Authority or incumbent phone company. However, in this instance I think that OFCOM is right and BT is justified.

It is true that you can not get a third party broadband service over a BT-retailed line without first buying voice service from them. So, yes, you have to buy one service from one company in order to buy another from another. However this is no different from Vonage. You have to buy broadband from someone else in order to buy voice from Vonage.

BT wholesale/Openreach offer the necessary wholesale inputs to allow anyone who wants to do so to retail a BT-owned line as a data only productn ie to provide naked DSL. The fact that no-one chooses to do so is not BT’s fault. It is more likely that, as the UK market stands today, it is not economic to offer a line without dial tone since, in charging for the costs of the line normally included in the voice rental, the broadband product would become too expensive.

BT don’t create these economics and they are (or should be once the equivalence project is fully up and running) consuming the wholesale inputs in the same way as any other operator. However I can not see that the fact that no-one chose to offer the product you (and Kerry) are advocating stems from any regulatory failure ore abuse of market power. Anyone who wants to offer naked DSL on BT’s network can do so on the basis of the same access to the network that BT gives to itself.

If anyone disagrees there is still a few days to respond to the OFCOM consultation…..

Michael
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