BT is reducing by 40% the charge it levies on competitors that want to use part of its infrastructure to provide broadband services to new customers. The move should lead to cheaper services for users.
From 15 December, BT will reduce its local loop unbundling (LLU) charge to competitors for connecting new customers from £168 to £100.
The reduction follows big reductions in the price BT charges competitors for reselling its own broadband services under different brands. Industry regulator Ofcom recently ordered BT to drop these charges even further.
With the price gap between building new broadband connections or selling on BT's wholesale services over BT's infrastructure narrowing, it is expected that more broadband suppliers will be tempted to roll out their own niche LLU services.
Steve Robertson, chief executive of BT's 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 boost demand," he said.
The Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator said there were a total of 140,000 unbundled lines in the UK as of April this year, and that 4,000 lines were being unbundled per week.
Much of this LLU activity is being carried out by Cable & Wireless through its Bulldog subsidiary.