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Monday, 26 September 2005 18:17

Forrester frowns on BT's separation plans

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IT&T market research company, Forrester, has give a big thumbs-down to BT's operational separation plans saying the new model "shouldn't leave the UK, as it will only hurt convergence and make consultants rich".

Forrester claims that implementation of the plans will take five years, and that BT will experience many of the same separation costs as it would have incurred with full structural separation, "costs that BT has been telling Forrester and the industry would be crippling in terms of finances, innovation, and operations".

Forrester notes that "Although BT Openreach [the new access unit] will be operational by January 1, 2006, BT will not be able to deliver physically separate OSS until the end of 2010."

Forrester is worried that the regulator, Ofcom, and UK-based consultants and lobbyists will try to export the new BT model to the rest of Europe, long before it has had any chance to prove itself.

Forrester claims that "The operational separation interfaces fly in the face of convergence. BT and other incumbents have argued for years through industry bodies like ETNO that a separation of its access network would make it hard to deliver end-to-end QoS for converged services or to justify huge investments in the network.  With no next-generation, open, and modular OSS ready to handle convergence either, Forrester doesn't understand how these previous arguments have suddenly become invalid."

These concerns seem to be mirrored in Australia where Telstra is understood to be grappling with the how it will be able to offer converged services under proposed operational separataion and network access rules.

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