Reader feedback: Slovakia could learn from UK telecom experience

Re: "Anti-Monopoly Office halts ST's high-speed data service launch", By Dewey Smolka, Vol. 8 No. 23, June 17-23

The roll out of ADSL technology even in the sophisticated market of the UK (where more than 40 percent of homes are connected to an Internet connection) has not been without problems too.

BT (British Telecom, a privatised company), without question caused a delay in ADSL take up in the UK, claiming that there was not enough consumer demand. They too had put the initial wholesale prices for the other Internet providers so high that no ordinary household user was prepared to pay for the ADSL enhanced services. There were also technical problems which are still not fully resolved, and not all Internet users can actually connect to the ADSL service.

But in the last three months the ADSL picture in the UK has changed dramatically. BT suddenly woke up, dropping the ridiculous staring wholesale price to the Internet providers. The service has therefore become viable for average Internet use at home, modem prices have dropped to economic levels, installation can now be carried out simply and quickly without an engineer visiting the user's home.

The result of this has been a massive immediate take up by the average home user.

Mrs. Thatcher was right when she broke the BT monopoly in the UK. Since 1981 BT has actually become a more dynamic company. It now makes more profit per second than any other company in the UK.

In fact, without a dynamic privatised competitive telecom market, the UK economy would not be as strong as it currently is.

Perhaps the directors of [Slovak Telecom majority owner] Deutsche Telecom need to take a closer look at the UK market and apply the lessons already learned there to their subsidiary companies too.

John Edwin Skelton

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