BT has written to rivals to complain about a “Fix Britain’s Internet” campaign, accusing them of misleading consumers.
According to Financial Times, Vodafone Group, Sky and TalkTalk launched the campaign, with the aim of “harnessing customer frustration” with broadband internet services by asking users to complain to watchdog Ofcom.
Among the claims made was that BT – emboldened through its recent acquisition of mobile market leader EE – was spending cash on sports content rights rather than infrastructure, and that rural connectivity was lagging.
Now, the paper said, BT chief Gavin Patterson has written to its rivals to argue that the campaign “paints an unfairly diminished view of connectivity across the UK”. A campaign is also planned to highlight the strength of the UK broadband network, backed by Ofcom data and comparing with other countries.
The comments come at a time when the future of BT’s Openreach unit – which manages the local access network – is in the spotlight. Ofcom is looking to further separate the division into its own company, with its own directors, with the aim of improving its relationships with companies such as Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.
However, it is believed the watchdog is not looking at a full spin-out, due to the timescales and complexities involved.
Recent reports have also indicated that Vodafone UK may be considering a major investment in its fixed line infrastructure.