Openreach must improve its performance in installing high-speed business lines and slash its wholesale prices, UK regulator Ofcom has ruled, as it delivers on promises it made after resisting the opportunity to split it off from BT.

First, Ofcom proposed Openreach completes 80 percent of leased line orders by the date it promises customers within two years, rising to 90 percent from April 2018.

The current figure Openreach achieves is 71 percent, which Ofcom said was “too long”. The change will benefit other operators reliant on the incumbent’s infrastructure.

Second, the regulator said Openreach must fix at least 94 percent of faults on its leased line network within five hours within two years.

Ofcom did not provide current figures, but said Openreach fixed 93.1 percent of faults within this timeframe in 2011.

Third, the regulator confirmed plans to reduce the wholesale prices BT charges for leased lines services over a three-year period from 1 May this year.

Ethernet services will get an initial reduction in prices of 12 percent, while “traditional interface” services get an initial nine percent reduction in prices.

The fourth ruling relates to last month’s announcement that Openreach must open up its telegraph poles and underground tunnels to allow competitors to construct their own fibre networks.

Ofcom has now confirmed that BT must give competitors physical access to its fibre-optic cables, allowing them to take direct control of the connection.

The new rules will be finalised at the end of April, subject to consideration by the European Commission.

[Read more: BT unveils new FTTP plans]

Ofcom Competition Group Director Jonathan Oxley said: “All of us depend on high-speed, fibre optic lines. Businesses use them to communicate, and they also underpin the broadband and mobile services used by consumers at home and on the move.

“BT is relied on by many companies to install these lines, and its performance has not been acceptable.

“These new rules will mean companies across the UK benefit from faster installation times, greater certainty about installation dates, and fast repairs if things go wrong.”

Adrian Baschnonga, EY Lead Telecommunications Analyst, added: “Both the government and regulator recognise that consumers would benefit from a clearer pricing of packages – and the landline element of bundles does appear out of step with the digital age.

“New wholesale broadband products could pave the way for the removal of landline fees, yet existing line rental charges reflect the costs of maintaining physical copper lines that runs into homes.

“While there is scope to make broadband pricing and advertising more transparent, the scope for cost savings for consumers who don’t make fixed-line calls is less clear.”

More News

Iliad enters content game in France, finally launches Italian mobile business Iliad enters content game in France, finally launches Italian mobile business Iliad has acquired football rights in France and launched its opco in Italy as it looks to reboot after a disappointing set of financial results. More detail
Three UK appoints new CCO, CFO Three UK appoints new CCO, CFO The departure of Three UK's Chief Commercial Officer after just 18 months in the job has triggered a shake-up of the mobile operator's top team. More detail
TalkTalk to sell enterprise customer base to Daisy as it registers full-year loss TalkTalk to sell enterprise customer base to Daisy as it registers full-year loss TalkTalk has agreed to sell 80,000 business customers to rival Daisy Group in a £175 million deal. More detail
A1 Telekom Austria Group rebrand reaches Bulgaria A1 Telekom Austria Group rebrand reaches Bulgaria Bulgaria is the third A1 Telekom Austria Group opco to get rebranded as the telco looks to market itself as a provider of "advanced" IT, IoT, cloud and content services. More detail
Orange Business Services puts IoT to use on saving ships’ fuel costs Orange Business Services puts IoT to use on saving ships’ fuel costs Orange Business Services has expanded its work with Dobroflot by developing a customised IoT solution for the Russian fishing company. More detail
    

 

European Communications is now
Mobile Europe and European Communications

  

From June 2018, European Communications magazine 
has merged with its sister title Mobile Europe, into 
Mobile Europe and European Communications.

No more new content is being published on this site - 

for the latest news and features, please go to:
www.mobileeurope.co.uk 

 

@eurocomms