BT Denies Engineering Ban Is For England Match

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BT has denied that it has banned engineering work on Saturday evening because of the England football match against the USA

BT has denied reports that it has issued a network-wide ban on engineering work tomorrow evening, as England begin their World Cup campaign with a match against the USA.

A “change embargo” measure will run throughout the football game, including an hour before kickoff and an hour after the final whistle, according to the Register.

No time off for football

However BT has denied that this has anything to do with allowing employees time off to watch the football match.

“The change embargo is to protect the customer experience and ensure everyone gets the best possible experience,” said a BT spokesperson in an emailed statement to eWEEK Europe UK. “Also any network incident that occurs during the embargo will be progress as usual.”

A more likely reason for the ban on engineering work is the fact that, during England games, BT’s network is likely to experience some degree of bandwidth strain, as people turn to watch the game on computers instead of TV.

It is thought that BT has placed a much longer embargo (up to three months) for the the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

BT Strike

Meanwhile the former UK incumbent is currently facing possible industry action over pay.

BT said that any such action would be “disproportionate” given the company’s current package for workers, and the telecoms giant said that it is happy to meet with the Communication’s Workers Union (CWU) to discuss its proposed 2 percent pay rise that has angered union members.

However, strike action seems likely after the CWU rejected an improved pay offer from the firm’s management. BT had increased its offer, but the union, which represents more than 50,000 of BT employees, said there was “no material change” to the deal, which amounts to a two percent increase in wages this year, followed by a three percent increase next year. The CWU will ballot its members on strike action.

“As we’ve made clear, 2 percent is unacceptable for our members,” said CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr, “as it does not reflect the reward they expect given the contribution they have made to cost savings of £1.75 billion and profits of over £1 billion.”

The CWU said the offer is below inflation – which it puts at 5.3 percent – and also below very large salary rises and bonuses, which senior executives have awarded themselves, exposing “blatant double standards being adopted by the company,” said Kerr.

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