Broadband users to get cheaper connections as BT cuts charges


Broadband users to get cheaper connections as BT cuts charges

Antony Savvas

BT is reducing by 40%, the charge it levies on competitors who want to use part of its infrastructure to offer alternative broadband services to new customers.

From 15 December, BT will reduce its local loop unbundling (LLU) charge to competitors for connecting new customers from £168 to £100. The move should lead to cheaper services to users.

The price cut follows big reductions in the price BT charges competitors for reselling its own broadband services under different brands. Ofcom recently ordered BT to drop these charges still further.

With the price gap between building new broadband connections and simply selling-on BT’s wholesale services over BT’s infrastructure now narrowing, it is expected that more broadband suppliers will be tempted to roll out their own niche LLU services to benefit customers.

Steve Robertson, chief executive officer of BT's new LLU arm Openreach, said, “These price reductions clearly demonstrate BT’s ongoing commitment to LLU and are designed to create additional certainty and confidence for operators investing in LLU.

“Openreach has been set up to deliver transparent and equal access for all to our network. We are confident that the price reduction will further boost demand and stimulate competition in the market,” he said.

The industry’s Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator said there were a total of 140,000 unbundled lines in the UK as of April this year, and 4,000 lines were being unbundled per week.

Much of this LLU activity is being carried out by Cable & Wireless through its Bulldog subsidiary.

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