Ofcom serves BT final leased line orders

29 April 2016 |


Ofcom has detailed its instructions to BT to speed up installations, cut wholesale prices and improve a number of other services.

BT has been ordered by the UK regulator Ofcom to get its house in order by drastically speeding up installations, cutting wholesale prices and providing access to its dark fibre.

The UK regulator Ofcom issued its final statement outlining new rules designed to improve BT’s performance on a range of long-standing issues from speed of installations to the wholesaling of leased-lines.

The new regulations are closely aligned to those outlined in Ofcom’s March 2016 report and have now received the approval of the European Commission.

The new rules, which come into effect at the end of March 2017, will mean BT has to fulfil leased line orders within a 46 working day limit reducing to 40 days from the end of March 2018.

The new rules also mean that from the end of March 2017 BT must complete 80% of orders agreed with its customers and 90% by April 2018.The wholesale cost of Ethernet lines goes down by 12% which is followed by a cap of 13.5% less than the rate of inflation for a total of three years

Ofcom has also told BT to cut 7.5% from the wholesale price of narrowband lines up to 8 Mbps. This is less than the 9% it originally suggested. This is followed by a three-year cap of 3.5% below the prevailing rate of inflation. 

The most contentious Ofcom ruling is on dark fibre. Under the terms of Ofcom’s ruling BT is required to provide dark-fibre-access to all rival telcos in those areas of the UK where BT is deemed to have significant market power (SMP), which is almost the entire country apart from Central London and Hull, which is served primarily by KCom. 

BT maintains that providing this access will add an additional layer of costs and complexity to the overheads of UK businesses.