IT legislation

Ofcom proposes phone and broadband price cuts by BT Openreach

Warwick Ashford

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has told BT’s wholesale division Openreach to reduce the prices charged to internet and other service providers that use BT’s lines, such as Talk Talk.

Ofcom wants BT to reduce the cost of a broadband and phone line from £91.50 a year to £87.41, and to reduce the cost of a broadband only line from £14.70 a year to £11.92.

The telecoms regulator is calling for the reduction to bring down the cost of broadband and landline services for consumers in line with similar calls by the European Commission.

This is the third time Ofcom has set the prices that Openreach charges, but the telecoms regulator says it is necessary as Openreach has a dominant position in the market, according to the BBC.

The proposals have been submitted to the European Commission, which has a month to comment on the changes. If approved, Ofcom expects the changes to come into force from April.

However, BT said in a statement that it disagrees with some of the underlying assumptions that Ofcom has used to determine the latest charge controls.

"Our primary concern throughout this process is to ensure that we are able to achieve a fair rate of return to continue our investment in the future of the UK's communications infrastructure,” the statement said. BT said it would consider all options available, including an appeal.

Ofcom said the proposed price cuts had taken into account the cost of running the network of underground ducts used to carry copper lines to properties.


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