Ofcom forces BT to up compensation for bad service to broadband providers


Ofcom forces BT to up compensation for bad service to broadband providers

Antony Savvas

Regulator Ofcom has brought in new rules to force BT's wholesale division to improve the service it provides to operators, including speedy compensation payments for bad service to customers.

The rules affect BT Openreach and cover the way its broadband and other services are provided, supported, repaired and maintained.

The rules require Openreach to:

• Pay compensation proactively without Openreach customers needing to make a claim should a fault be fixed or a line provided late.

• Pay every time service or quality falls below the contractual threshold, instead of paying out against performance stated as an "average over time".

• Continue to pay compensation each time problems persist up to a capped limit.

• For local loop unbundling, pay additional compensation for failing to activate "live" lines at double the current amount.

Telecoms companies use a range of Openreach products to offer retail services to business and residential consumers.

Because these products are available only from Openreach, Ofcom regulates their price and how they are supplied.

Ofcom said the package of measures followed concerns raised by telecoms companies that Openreach was not sufficiently focused on meeting the needs of all its wholesale customers.

The new rules will come into effect on 20 June this year.

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