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BT plots to slash pension benefits for 32,000 staff
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 04:31

BT is proposing to close its defined benefit pension scheme for 11,000 managers and slash contributions to 21,000 frontline staff in a bid to plug a looming £14bn pension deficit.

The former UK state monopoly is set to begin a consultation with members of its two largest pension schemes tomorrow, The Reg has confirmed.

The plan is to shutter the defined benefit scheme for managers and move them to the enhanced BT Retirement Saving Scheme from April 1, 2018. They will still receive the retirement income so far accrued in the BT Pension Scheme when they retire.

For 21,000 non-managers

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Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 00:39

London's Victorian sewer network is to be made accessible to fibre cables under a deal between SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Thames Water.

The agreement means SSE has managed to circumnavigate any reliance on BT's Openreach network, having said it has been frustrated by the slow progress made on opening up the former state monopoly's "dark fibre" network.

Earlier this month the UK's Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) ruled that Ofcom had to redraft its entire approach to its proposals to force Openreach to open its unlit fibre network to ISPs. That followed a ruling by the CAT in July that Ofcom

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AT T, Verizon agree to hop into bed and thrust new erections over US
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:52

US telco giants AT&T and Verizon are joining forces to install cellphone towers throughout America.

The nation's two top mobile carriers say they will be teaming up with phone mast builders Tillman Infrastructure to put up a network of hundreds of towers around the US with the aim of using them to hold both cellular voice and wireless broadband equipment.

Under the deal, Tillman will construct the towers to specs agreed on by AT&T and Verizon, then lease them to the telcos through a coanchoring deal. The two carriers say the new towers will be built in both existing markets

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BT boss: Yeah, making a business case for 5G is hard
Thursday, 16 November 2017 23:00

Chief exec of BT, Gavin Patterson, has admitted the telco is struggling to make a business case for 5G investment, given the huge costs of getting the network off the ground.

Speaking at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, Patterson said: “I talk to other CEOs around the world... and we’ve all been struggling a little bit to make the business case work.”

He said the shift to 5G will involve "significant investment" and capital expenditure. "We've got to finish the job on 4G, and we've got to make sure we get the return on investment [on that]."

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Hardware headwinds hurt Cisco as revenue dips two per cent in Q1
Thursday, 16 November 2017 12:22

Cisco suffered a decline in revenue for Q1 2018, weighed down by ongoing weakness in its switch and router business.

The company reported first quarter 2018 revenue of US$12.1 billion, which was two per cent down on the first quarter 2017. Total product revenue of $9.05 was down three per cent year-on-year, while services grew one per cent to $3.08 billion.

A recent reorganisation of Cisco's reporting structure means switches and routers are now a single reporting line called "Infrastructure Platforms"; the others are "Applications", "Security", the snappily-named "Other Products", and "Services".

Here's how each fared:

Infrastructure platforms $6,970 (4%)
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Ads watchdog tells Plusnet: There's no way unlimited business broadband costs £4.50
Thursday, 16 November 2017 00:04

Two Plusnet adverts selling business broadband have been ruled "misleading" by the UK Advertising Standards Agency.

The ads, which were seen on Facebook in March, had headlines claiming unlimited business broadband from £4.50 a month. But the small print said an extra £10.50 a month would be required in line rental.

Plusnet defended the ad, claiming that because the adverts were aimed at business users, who they described as having a "higher level of competence and knowledge than a typical consumer", the exclusion of line rental from the headline price was acceptable.

Domestic broadband prices in advertising have to include

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