BT scolded by regulator, Ofcom, for slow service and high prices

Written by on March 22, 2016 in News with 0 Comments

BTLONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s telecoms regulator said BT, the owner of the biggest fixed-line network, must install business lines more quickly and significantly reduce the wholesale prices it charges rivals for the lines.

Ofcom’s demands come less than a month after it said it would impose higher service standards on BT’s networks unit Openreach in its review of the communications market.

The new proposals will require BT to install high-speed lines for businesses in 46 working days by the end of March 2017, and 40 working days the following year, down from a current 48 days.

It would also have to reduce prices for the lines, and propose prices and terms for rivals to install their own equipment to use its fiber connections.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sarah Young)

Editor’s comment – The debate about the future of BT and Openreach is, of course, a longstanding one. There are those that believe that structural separation is the only way forward. There are those that believe that Ofcom should leave well alone and there are those that are convinced that – when it comes to connection – BT’s own customers get priority over their peers and rivals. Imposing tighter deadlines on BT, Ofcom hopes to solve the problem. At best, it is likely to be a patch. It also opens the debate up to the fact that such tight regulations actually simply favour the digital service providers such as Google. Time will tell.

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