Ofcom to probe Bulldog Communications' work
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Ofcom to probe Bulldog Communications' work

British regulator Ofcom has launched an investigation into Cable & Wireless' Internet unit Bulldog Communications.

business Updated: Sep 02, 2005 17:45 IST

British regulator Ofcom has launched an investigation into Cable & Wireless' Internet unit Bulldog Communications following complaints it had billed customers for services that it had failed to provide.

The media-to-telecoms regulator said that it would also investigate whether Bulldog had failed to abide by rules that require "communications providers to establish and maintain complaints-handling procedures that conform to a code of practice". "The opening of this investigation follows the receipt of a number of consumer complaints about these issues," Ofcom said on its Web site on Friday.

Shares in Cable & Wireless, Britain's second-largest fixed-line telecoms company after BT Group Plc, were 2 per cent down at 147-3/4 pence by 1100 GMT, above a low of 145-1/2p.

Bulldog, acquired by Cable & Wireless in May last year, is the vehicle for the firm's push into the consumer market for broadband or high-speed Internet connections in the UK. C&W is hoping this will help counter a declining corporate business because of falling prices and intense competition. Bulldog has sought to distinguish itself from rivals such as BT and France Telecom's Wanadoo unit as a provider of very high bandwidth connections.

While most Internet service providers offer connections with download speeds of up to 2 megabyte (Mb) per second, Bulldog offers speeds of up to 8Mb.

Officials at Cable & Wireless and Bulldog were not immediately available for comment. Bulldog has previously admitted that gaps existed in its customer service and it had experienced problems with its billing systems which resulted in erroneous bills being generated.

In a recent letter to customers, seen by Reuters, Bulldog's Chief Executive Emanuele Angelidis said that due to huge demand the company had not been able to always meet customers' expectations, especially during the connection process. "I am really sorry about that. You deserve better," he said in the letter.

First Published: Sep 02, 2005 17:45 IST