Examination of Witnesses (Questions 280
TUESDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2002
280. When Mr Dyke was in charge of LWT he tried
to enlist some of us against BSkyB on the grounds that it was
not suitable that any one commercial organisation should be the
controller of access. Mr Dyke believed that was a valid concern
then. Do you believe it is a valid concern now?
(Mr Wallace) I think it is a concern but if, and only
if, we do not get a broadband local loop, because once you have
got a broadband local loop you have a superior access device to
get to the home. It is better than satellite in many ways both
for content going in and, most importantly, for inter-activity.
If we get a broadband, local loop competition will take care of
that issue; if we do not, it remains a concern.
281. Do you have something to add?
(Mr Phillips) I just wanted to add something on the
issue of satellite, because we were talking generally about satellite,
and the comment that was made earlier by BT that a number of satellite
solutions were being investigated, particularly in the rural areas,
and so on. My own view, from many, many years in the satellite
industry before Cable & Wireless, is that it is a complete
red herring. I really genuinely think there is not a satellite
solution out there which is cost effective which has not yet been
discovered and will somehow miraculously transform the access
to broadband of people living in populated areas. It just does
not exist, it is a true red herring.
282. It is £100 a month for two-way satellite,
which is not exactly in the reach of most of my constituents.
(Mr Phillips) I do not think it will ever play any
Chairman: Thank you very much indeed.