Broadband is too pricey, say users


Broadband is too pricey, say users

Antony Savvas

Telecoms managers in some of the UK's largest businesses are concerned about the availability of broadband, the quality of voice over IP services, the security threats of instant messaging and the complexity of billing from their telecoms providers.

The issues were highlighted in the annual Communications Management Association (CMA) membership survey, due to be presented at the organisation's annual conference in London tomorrow (8 February).

Despite government assurances that broadband is ubiquitous in the UK, 54% of CMA members said they could not get broadband connectivity where they needed it. Last year only 42% expressed dissatisfaction over broadband connectivity.

Eighty five per cent of CMA members said UK broadband pricing was too high compared to other countries. This was up from 81% last year, despite BT and other operators reducing the price of basic broadband services over the past 12 months. 

BT last year launched the BT Openreach company to address concerns about the way broadband is supplied through its own divisions, and the way it accommodates rival suppliers' installations over its infrastructure.

BT Openreach has promised telecoms watchdog Ofcom that it will treat BT's rivals as equals when it comes to enabling new broadband services. Sixty nine per cent of CMA members said they expected BT Openreach to help deliver a more competitive broadband market.

Other findings from the survey included 77% of CMA members expressing concern about the quality of VoIP services and 74%  expressing concern about the security of web-based instant messaging products.

Billing was another area that attracted negative feedback. Bills were too complex, according to 76% of telecoms managers, with 91% wanting suppliers to introduce electronic billing systems.

The CMA's 2,000 members have a combined annual IT and communications spend of £11bn.

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