Ofcom has proposed a reduction in the prices that BT Wholesale can charge internet service providers (ISPs) in rural areas of up to 14.75% below inflation.
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The telecom regulator said lower wholesale prices would increase competition between retail ISPs, leading to reductions in retail prices which would benefit consumers. "The changes may also lead to better quality services by enabling ISPs to alocate more bandwidth per customer, which could deliver faster broadband services, Ofcom said.
A statement from BT said: "It is key that the details strike the right balance between control and incentives to invest in rural areas. As the UK's main investor in rural broadband, we will engage fully in the consultation process which follows to make our case."
Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: "This is a welcome move by Ofcom, which will hopefully make it more economically viable for smaller ISPs to reach sections of the UK they were previously unable to. It's the first step in the creation of a level playing field across the broadband market.