Ofcom looks to promote more competition in UK broadband market

UK regulator Ofcom is attempting to promote more competition among superfast broadband providers after publishing a consultation on new measures as part of a review of wholesale telecoms services in the UK.

Ofcom is proposing to cut the wholesale cost of switching a customer from one superfast broadband supplier to another by up to 80%, and the minimum length of a wholesale contract between BT and a new supplier would reduce from one year to one month.

It is claimed the new provisions are intended to promote competition in superfast broadband services at a wholesale level, which could lead to benefits on a consumer level on the retail side, and allow for an easier switching process between providers.

Under present regulation, any consumer wanting to switch from BT to another provider must pay a £50 fee to Openreach, with Ofcom proposing to significantly cutting this fee.

Ofcom further claims the price of fibre broadband is constrained by the availability of standard broadband prices, and competition from Virgin Media’s vast cable network.

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