The UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) has hit out at BT in a report calling for increased competition in the business communications marketplace.
Improving Business Communications in the UK, researched and authored by SPC Network on behalf of UKCTA, claims the business telecoms market lags way behind the residential market when it comes to competitiveness.
UKCTA’s director of external affairs Christine Roberts said: “Business consumers are different from residential consumers, especially in terms of the quality of service they need.”
The report suggests ways to enhance the services offered to UK businesses. This includes improving the cost and quality of service for wholesale broadband products, with BT singled out for criticism. It also said there should be a simpler process for customers wishing to transfer services from one supplier to another.
Richard Bligh, group marketing director for vendor Gamma Telecom, told CRN he wanted Ofcom to get tougher with BT. “It comes down to the size of BT versus the size of Ofcom they have needed to pick their battles in the consumer space rather than the business space because it is higher profile,” he said.
Stephen Eveleigh, product marketing manager for business ISP Star, claimed customers’ difficulties in changing suppliers had hit his company’s bottom line. “In some cases we have had to zero the set-up charge,” he said.
Telephony vendor Colt’s UK managing director Detlef Spang said: “We are hopeful that, in light of UKCTA’s report, Ofcom will consider and address a number of the areas raised. We are working with Ofcom to lobby for improved regulated services which meet the needs of business customers.”
A representative for BT Wholesale said: “Service quality is a key focus at BT Wholesale and has improved significantly over recent years and now stands at an all-time high. We have also developed a migration process to support the seamless transfer of end users between service providers.”
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