Ofcom has told BT’s service division Openreach it must drop the wholesale price on its high speed lines and give greater access to its fibre broadband network.
The regulator has demanded that Openreach act faster in the installation of business lines.
Significantly, Ofcom has taken the decision to enforce tougher regulation on Openreach, rather than to separate it from BT as many had argued it should be.
Ofcom’s new rules come as part of the communications watchdog’s Business Connectivity Market Review. The regulator explained that the new rules will be finalised at the end of April subject to approval by the European Commission.
Competitors of BT have long complained about the way in which Openreach has operated.Many of the complaints surrounding the BT/EE merger focused on the role of the services division.
How it will work
Ofcom said that the new rules had been devised following consultation with the industry.
The regulator said it would be ensure BT maintained lower prices for leased lines services, using ‘charge controls’.
In terms of access to the telecoms giants fibre network Ofcom is demanding that BT give competitors physical access to its fibre-optic cables, allowing them to take direct control of the connection.
For the speeding up of business line installation the regulator has told Openreach that, by the end of March 2017 it has to complete 80% of leased line orders by the date it promises this will rise to 90% from April 2018.