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Universal VoIP is Coming



dreamstime_xs_87940298Forgive me if I’ve said this before but back in the 90s BT tried to make a case for re-cabling Britain. It failed and in the process it and the UK lost out to the world.

Where it once led the world, it now plays catch up. It wasn’t all BT’s fault, it was also a failure of government policy and regulation. But in the end BT got it horribly wrong in the classic way of ignoring technical innovation preferring instead a large number of awful international joint venture deals – it’s always easier and much sexier to buy things than build them. All the deals ultimately failed for utterly predictable reasons and the loss had to be paid for by selling the best asset they had – their mobile network. The only incumbent telco in the world without a mobile network.

So much is history and now BT are beginning to get back to the original strategy. They bought a mobile network, EE, and now deliver TV by broadband. All of which is good for my pension. The next step was confirmed this week by BT when it opened consultations with the industry about closing its switched telephone network in 2025.

This is a very big deal, it means that all telephony in the UK will be VoIP in 7 years time. It’s a very necessary and brave step but it puts the UK behind when we should have been in front. Germany will do it by the end of this year.

Of course Voipfone did it 14 years ago.


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