"FIX BRITAIN'S INTERNET" RESPONSE TO BT
The Chief Executives of Vodafone UK, TalkTalk and Sky UK & Ireland have written to Gavin Patterson the CEO of BT Group in response to his letter regarding the “Fix Britain’s Internet”. The CEOs welcomed his commitment to engaging in a debate on broadband, which remains critical to the success and international competitiveness of our country, both today and in the future.
They also agreed, as Mr Patterson’s letter acknowledges, that the service Openreach provides today is unacceptable and must improve and that, looking ahead, it does not appear BT shares the same level of ambition for the digital future of this nation. As a coalition of Openreach’s largest customers, the campaign agrees with Ofcom’s assessment that a network that still relies heavily on copper, with limited plans to roll out fibre direct to the premise, will not meet Britain’s needs in the future.
The CEOs reiterate that they believe the UK is capable of funding, building and deploying a truly world-class national broadband network that can stand shoulder to shoulder with other world leaders, supported by strong retail competition driving better consumer outcomes. Their concern is that none of this will happen if Openreach’s strategy and budget remains controlled by BT Group.
The letter goes on to comprehensively rebut the issues raised in Mr Patterson’s letter, reiterating the statements used on the website are based on publicly available data from both Ofcom and BT, and that none are considered are misleading.
The letter concludes “We have been – and will continue to – engage constructively in the debate about the future of Openreach, because together we contribute the largest portion of its revenue; are acting on behalf of the majority of broadband users in the UK; and are a clear and important source of competition in this market. The campaign to “Fix Britain’s Internet” gives millions of Openreach customers an opportunity to express their views on this critical issue.”
About Vodafone UK
Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 30 June 2016, Vodafone had 465 million mobile customers and 13.7 million fixed broadband customers. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.
Vodafone UK partners with businesses of all sizes - from start-ups and small businesses to the largest corporates and the public sector. The company has worked with UK businesses for over 30 years, starting out as a mobile provider and becoming one of the UK’s leading total communications partners. It provides a range of voice and data services, secure communications infrastructure, fixed and call centre capability, unified communications and was the first mobile phone operator to offer a truly converged service for fixed and mobile.
Vodafone is currently spending around £1 billion on its network and services across the UK following a similar amount spent last year. This includes £200 million on its network in London, the introduction of its 4G service to more than 860 cities and towns, as well as thousands of smaller communities whilst also making network improvements across its UK 3G network. Meanwhile, The Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme is also aiming to bring 3G coverage for the first time to 100 remote communities across the UK.
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