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Ofcom unveils plans to boost broadband competition

Ofcom unveils plans to boost broadband competition

Category: Broadband

Updated: 05/07/2013
First Published: 04/07/2013

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The communications watchdog, Ofcom, has revealed a set of proposals designed to increase competition amongst superfast broadband providers.

Devised as part of a general review of the telecommunications service industry, the proposals include an 80% reduction to the wholesale cost of switching a customer from one superfast broadband supplier to another.

The minimum period of the wholesale contract between BT and the switched customer's new supplier would also be slashed from a year to one month.

The regulator stated that it intends to look at how the performance of BT's Openreach division can be monitored and maintained at "acceptable levels", whilst also bringing down the Openreach switching fee, charged to customers in the event of changing to a superfast broadband provider, from £50 to between £10 and £15.

It is hoped that if implemented, the new rules would not only enhance competition between providers at a wholesale level, but also benefit consumers by way of lower broadband costs and more effective switching processes.

In a statement, Ofcom said: "Today's consultation proposes broadly to maintain the current regulatory framework, including requirements on BT to offer various wholesale communications products to other providers on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis."

Ofcom is expected to consult on the proposals over the forthcoming months, with the outcome due to be published in spring 2014.

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