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Eu Attacks Leased Line Overpricing

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Martin Burns

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User since: 26 Apr 1999

Articles written: 143

It's not just dialup pricing which is getting the attention of regulatory authorities across Europe. EU Commissioner Erkki Liikanen attacked the exploitative pricing of leased lines at the Telecom99 conference in Geneva this week.

Liikanen said that while deregulation has improved tariffing in most areas, those for leased lines remain unacceptably high, and national regulators must investigate the situation.

The Commissioner backed up his statement with figures from an EC report, which indicate that leased line prices in several countries hugely exceed its own recommendations. For example, it suggests that rental prices for short-distance 34Mbps leased line should be between Euro 1,800 to Euro 2,600, but in the UK, BT charges run at around Euro 5,000.

The UK has the highest charges, but it is not alone in exceeding the EC's recommendations. France, Ireland, Spain and Sweden are also among the countries with high charges

Tim Pearson, chairman of ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association), commented "Everyone would argue that leased lines are expensive in the UK with the sole exception of Oftel [the UK's telecoms regulator] and BT"

Martin Burns has been doing this stuff since Netscape 1.0 days. Starting with the communication ends that online media support, he moved back through design, HTML and server-side code. Then he got into running the whole show. These days he's working for these people as a Project Manager, and still thinks (nearly 6 years on) it's a hell of a lot better than working for a dot-com. In his Copious Free Time™, he helps out running a Cloth Nappies online store.

Amongst his favourite things is ZopeDrupal, which he uses to run his personal site. He's starting to (re)gain a sneaking regard for ECMAscript since the arrival of unobtrusive scripting.

He's been a member of since the very early days, a board member, a president, a writer and even contributed a modest amount of template code for the current site. Above all, he likes to do things because it knowingly chooses to do so, rather than randomly stumbling into them. He's also one of the boys and girls who beervolts in the UK, although the arrival of small children in his life have knocked the frequency for 6.

Most likely to ask: Why would a client pay you to do that?

Least likely to ask: Why isn't that navigation frame in Flash?

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