In the recent proceedings in the Upper Tribunal. members of the Valuation Office Agency made what we claim were false statements in evidence covered by a statement of truth.

We need an independent expert witness or witnesses to confirm our assessment of these falsehoods, which were used to justify taxation of the use of fibre some 10 times that of BT. This has also resulted in the over-charging of maybe 100 fibre users in the UK including most of the Universities.

Please PM me if you can comment on the below.

These falsehoods were:-

  1. “Vtesse uses high quality fibre when BT uses low quality fibre.” Vtesse used ITU G.652 fibre, and BT has confirmed in writing that it also used ITU G.652 fibre since before 2000 and onwards until very recently.
  2. “Vtesse used high speed fibre and BT did not.” There is no such thing as “high speed” fibre. The capacity is determined by the transmission equipment used.
  3. “Vtesse used high speed equipment and BT did not”. Both BT and Vtesse used ADVA FSP150 or equivalent 1G transmission equipment to access customer sites.
  4. “Operator X used optical connectors with 1 mm gaps which justified a different rating treatment either side of that gap.” Operator X used FC APC and SC APC connectors. PC stands for “physical contact” – there is no gap of anywhere near 1mm which would cause significant losses.
  5. “The Vtesse Network consisted of fibre all spliced together with no gaps and was completely contiguous.” The Vtesse network had some 80 PoPs mostly in other operators’ buildings where the fibre was connected with patch leads to transmission equipment. The rented fibre was not contiguous.
  6. “Operator X implements a GPON network which allows it to directly connect with fibre any customer to any other customer at its choice.” Operator X fully implemented Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (“GPON”) to ITU G.984 and TR-101 and “user isolation” as defined in those standards is fully implemented.
  7. “BT has an onerous Universal Services Obligation which affects its profitability.” Ofcom has confirmed that it found no material financial burden to the voice USO. Furthermore, if BT had thought it bore such a burden, it could claim it back from other operators by calling on Ofcom. It has never called on this.
  8. “It is not possible to distinguish the cumulo rates burden applied to NGA and non-NGA lines.” Frontier Economics has confirmed that the BT Regulatory Financial Statements show that the Government split BT’s rates bill between NGA and non-NGA lines because BT accounts for the two differently. Those accounts are audited by leading auditors and Ofcom.
  9. “It is not possible to disaggregate any part of the single, UK wide Receipts and Expenditure valuation of BT”. BT’s agent put in an appeal in 2020 for Wales alone, on the basis that the number of copper and fibre lines and PoP footprint had fallen materially. This required Wales to be disaggregated from the UK wide valuation, and a proxy valuation per line, and proxy value per sq ft of exchange space to be calculated. That is “disaggregation” which according to Cambridge Dictionary means: -to separate something into separate parts: the need to disaggregate social and economic data by age as well as gender
  10. Further to the claim that “disaggregation of an R&E valuation is not possible”, the following was put in a letter from the VOA to a fibre operator: “Any hereditament, such as a telecommunications fibre network, valued by Receipts & Expenditure, should be valued to the specific circumstances of the hereditament. A proxy price per connection can then be derived to assist with material changes (eg in terms of number of connections) during the life of the list.” This statement directly contradicts what was submitted in evidence in the Tribunal.
By Published On: October 12, 2023Categories: News