Top level execs urge CMA to launch BT Openreach investigation

Top level execs urge CMA to launch BT Openreach investigation

Industry heavyweights have called on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate BT Openreach, claiming Ofcom’s powers are ‘insufficient’.

Top level executives from TalkTalk, Vodafone UK and Sky used an open letter regarding the broadband market to highlight the need for ‘radical reform’ in the communications space.

The companies reiterated the need to split Openreach from BT, claiming that the CMA’s far reaching powers will be able to address barriers in competition.

Sky and TalkTalk have previously been vocal in their calls for Ofcom to investigate BT, with rivalries between the companies coming to a head as BT defended its position in the wholesale market.

The open letter to The Financial Times read: ‘Ofcom is currently conducting the most fundamental review of the communications market in a decade, and has identified serious problems with the ownership of the national telecoms network by BT Openreach. The result is a sub-standard experience for millions of customers and diminished opportunity for alternative providers to compete effectively.

‘We do not believe that the fundamental problems identified by Ofcom can be addressed by tinkering with the existing regulatory framework. Ofcom has done a good job of delivering competition on the old copper network, but the powers given to it are insufficient for the new superfast world.

‘It is crucial that Ofcom moves as quickly as possible to ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), with its far reaching powers, to undertake a full market investigation.

'Only the CMA, with the support of Ofcom, can address the structural barriers to competition that will unlock the next wave of investment in communications infrastructure that the country urgently needs. We cannot afford to wait.’

Ofcom’s review of BT Openreach is currently in its second phase, with the UK regulator accepting evidence and responses until October 8 2015, after which time the regulator will decide what action to take.



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