Thursday, 22 June 2017

Fighting about fibre and other stories

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Friday 17 June 16

BT, Vodafone come to blows at Connected Britain 2016, as key industry stakeholders share opinions on regulation, high-speed broadband, 5G and other hot topics.

The mere presence of regulatory and policy executives from BT and Vodafone on the same panel at this year's Connected Britain event led us to suspect that there would be fireworks, and we were not wrong. Indeed, there was some sparring between Julian Ashworth, director of group industry policy at BT, and Matthew Braovac, head of competition and regulatory affairs at Vodafone UK, before either had been invited on stage, and once they had taken their seats – not next to one another, incidentally - it was clear from the start that this would not be a harmonious half hour. "Ofcom have assumed their normal position between them," session moderator Matthew Evans, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, remarked as Andy Hudson, the U.K. regulator's director of spectrum policy, took the buffer seat. While Ashworth and Braovac had comments to make on the subject of spectrum…

The mere presence of regulatory and policy executives from BT and Vodafone on the same panel at this year's Connected Britain event led us to suspect that there would be fireworks, and we were not wrong. Indeed, there was some sparring between Julian Ashworth, director of group industry policy at BT, and Matthew Braovac, head of competition and regulatory affairs at Vodafone UK, before either had been invited on stage, and once they had taken their seats – not next to one another, incidentally - it was clear from the start that this would not be a harmonious half hour. "Ofcom have assumed their normal position between them," session moderator Matthew Evans, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, remarked as Andy Hudson, the U.K. regulator's director of spectrum policy, took the buffer seat. While Ashworth and Braovac had comments to make on the subject of spectrum…

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