BT is neglecting small firms

21 Mar 2012

As a country-dwelling IT manager, I have been delighted to update from half-meg ADSL to 36Mbit/s BT Infinity (Is the government’s fast broadband delivery strategy starting to fall apart?).

However, my day job is working for a group of three SME companies in different parts of the UK, each on an industrial estate, none of which has access to BT Infinity.

When I enquired why they have been overlooked, BT wrote back saying: “Unfortunately, at present it has been deemed not economically viable to upgrade the cabinet…(because) the costs to upgrade the cabinet are considerably higher than the cost threshold that has been set.”

Until we can get fibre to the cabinet, we and the thousands of other SMEs on industrial estates will be stuck with ADSL as the only affordable solution. Much as I would love to have installed fibre to the premises years ago for internet, the high costs of doing so remain out of reach. The thousands per year required are better spent developing new products.

Despite having four bonded ADSL lines, it is now quicker for me to copy any large data upload onto my laptop, walk out the office, get in the car, drive home, load it onto the internet from there and drive back again.
If SMEs are to lift the economy up, industrial estate cabinets should be done ahead of residential ones.

Paul Robins, ITC manager, Earlex

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Reader comments

BT saying it's not economically viable to upgrade industrial estate cabinets to FTTP

I too have noticed this trend of not upgrading industrial estate cabinets. I wonder if the economic criteria include the lost revenue from Leased line provision to SME's on industrial estates. I think we need these "economic viability calculations to be placed in the public domain.
Failure to provide decent priced high speed connectivity to SME's will hurt their competitiveness and slow the recovery of UK PLC.

Posted by: David Morton  28 Dec 2012