Ofcom has announced a new cap in the price Openreach – BT’s infrastructure arm – can charge telecoms providers for the 40Mbit/s service they use to offer superfast broadband. The regulator insists that this is to promote competition in the sector which it hopes will result in lower prices for households.
Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s Competition Group Director, said: “Our plans are designed to encourage long-term investment in future ultrafast, full-fibre networks, while promoting competition and protecting consumers from high prices.” Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk and Minister of State for Digital and Culture, welcomed the news. He described it as, “good news for consumers, businesses, and the country”. Similarly, Labour MP for Sheffield Heely and digital economy minister Louise Haigh described the changes as helping to “level up the playing field” in broadband provision.
The changes will take effect from 2020/2021 and they will not apply to its higher speed packages.
Separately, Ofcom increased the pressure on Openreach to ensure it resolves repairs and installations more quickly. New regulatory targets will require Openreach to complete 93 per cent of fault repairs within one to two working days of being notified. This contrasts with the 80 per cent requirement currently.
More about the changes can be read here.