Three UK CEO criticises Ofcom, joins campaign against Openreach

Three UK, broadband

Three's CEO has attacked Ofcom for failing to introduce a fair system for UK broadband customers, as it became the latest telco to sign up to the Fix Britain's Internet campaign.

The mobile operator carries nearly half of all the UK’s mobile data traffic on its network and said this relies on a “competitive” broadband infrastructure market that provides “choice and independence”.

Claiming that the current set up “does not deliver”, it has joined the campaign set up by Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone in July.

Three UK Chief Executive David Dyson used the announcement that his company was joining Fixed Britain’s Internet to criticise Ofcom.

He said: “Ofcom should play a crucial role in ensuring UK consumers fully benefit from the digital revolution yet Ofcom has allowed BT to accumulate close to 50 percent of the airwaves that are key to the mobile internet as well as dominating the fixed broadband market.

“For over a decade, Ofcom has failed to introduce a fair system for customers to switch their number and the UK not only lags behind Europe but the rest of the world to the detriment of UK consumers.

“Consumers want genuine choice and it is vital they make this clear to Ofcom, so it can make bold decisions on issues like Openreach, spectrum and switching in the face of huge pressure from big incumbents to keep the status quo.”

The operators hope Fix Britain’s Internet, which invites customers to email Ofcom as part of a public consultation into the future of Openreach and BT, will change the status quo.

The UK regulator has proposed that Openreach should become a legally separate company within BT, but the Fix Britain’s Internet campaigners want the two businesses to be split up entirely.

BT has hit back in the PR war by launching an advertising campaign, backed by Virgin Media, which claims that the UK has a “Europe-leading” broadband network.

The CEO of Openreach said last week that he was “frustrated” that his company hadn’t “got the facts out".

Ofcom’s public consultation closes next week.

It is the second time in a matter of weeks that Dyson has been on the offensive.

Earlier this month he said UK consumers had been “robbed” of what would have been “the best mobile infrastructure in Europe” following the decision by the European Commission to block its merger with O2.

Meanwhile, Vodafone UK said its fixed broadband customers will be guaranteed “accurate” minimum and maximum download speeds after it signed up to Ofcom’s voluntary code of practice.

Customers will be free to leave if the minimum speed is not achieved after 28 days from notifying Vodafone.

The operator said it would also provide upload speed details, even though they are not part of the code.

Last month, the company announced plans to abolish broadband line rental charges.

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