Ofcom proposes price caps to give rivals easier access to BT’s Openreach broadband network

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BT’s tunnels and telegraph poles form the backbone of Britain’s broadband networkSteve Parsons/PA

New rules designed to cut the amount that BT charges rivals to gain access to its network of underground tunnels and telegraph poles have been proposed by the industry regulator. Ofcom believes that capping charges would ensure cheaper and easier access to BT’s ducts and poles, boosting competition and making it easier for smaller companies to offer households and businesses alternative fibre broadband networks, built using shared essential infrastructure. Rivals say that in the past BT, whose Openreach division controls the wires and other kit that form the backbone of Britain’s broadband network, has used unreasonably high access charges as a way to inhibit competition.

Building an alternative national network of equivalent ducts and poles would cost billions and would be prohibitively expensive, they say. Want to read more? Register with a few details to continue reading this article.

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