Video: Vaizey promises to discuss BT connection charges

Broadband minister Ed Vaizey has promised to discuss BT charges that raise costs for other network operators that need to connect to BT equipment.

The issue emerged at the opening of Vtesse Networks' fibre-to-the-cabinet project, which will provide about 400 homes in the Birch Green, Hertfordshire with broadband access at up to 40Mbps.

Vtesse CEO Alan Paul told Vaizey that he could halve the cost of the £20,000 street cabinet that connects the Vtesse fibre network to the BT cabinet which serves the homes with copper, if he paid what BT Openreach charged other BT companies for the same service, and it dispensed with unnecessary technical requirements.

Paul said a similar situation existed in two other Vtesse fibre projects, where the company was experimenting with fibre to the home on poles and through BT ducts.

Paul said that in Hatt, Devon BT had charged Vtesse £12,000 a year to connect the Vtesse cabinet to the BT exchange in Plymouth. "The equivalent charge, if BT had charged itself, would have been £1,300," he said.

Vaizey asked Paul to provide details of the charges Vtesse was paying BT and said, "We will set up a meeting with BT."

Paul said later he was encouraged by Vaizey's response.

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