Telcos demand action from Ofcom over BT's UK broadband stronghold

Ofcom under pressure to do more to boost competition within UK's broadband market

Ofcom is being called upon to reduce BT's hold over the UK market by introducing initiatives that would see access to its networking infrastructure shared amongst its competitors.

In a new series of reports by the UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA), which counts EE, Sky, Virgin Media, Vodafone as members, it states that Ofcom must do more to boost competition within the UK telecoms market, and improve the level of service offered to business users.

In the case of the latter, Ofcom is accused of having a "regulatory bias" towards the needs of residential users, which means business users lose out.

To help remedy this, it's calling for access to BT's passive infrastructure to be opened up to all providers. This would allow them to lay their own cables in the telco giant's ducts and improve overall levels of connectivity to business users, it is claimed.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Furthermore, it's also calling for more pressure to be applied to BT with regard to the performance of its Openreach arm, as failings in this area can have a knock-on effect for other suppliers.

This is because many of them have to rely on Openreach to deliver their own broadband and telephony services to customers.

Domhnall Dods, a telecoms lawyer from UKCTA, said efforts have been made to open up competition within parts of the telecoms sector, but more needs to be done.

"Thirty years ago we saw the start of a new era in the UK telecommunications market. Although increased competition now helps manage the issues of pricing and consumer protection in today's broadband market, the greater issue of BT's market dominance remains," said Dods.

"We believe Ofcom and its new CEO should review its agenda and target the root causes of this remaining market power, including the way the core BT platform is regulated. The UK's consumers and businesses cannot afford for Ofcom to ignore the problems identified in these reports."

In a statement to Reuters, a BT spokesperson downplayed the reports' findings by declaring the UK has a "vibrant wholesale business connectivity market" with good levels of competition and innovation.

Advertisement - Article continues below

An Ofcom representative also told the site the work it does goes "hand-in-hand" with promoting competition.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now

Most Popular


How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
Microsoft Windows

Windows 7 bug blocks users from shutting down their PCs

10 Feb 2020

Coronavirus starts to take its toll on the tech industry

6 Feb 2020