December 11, 2015
Under new rules proposed by Ofcom, BT Openreach must compensate its wholesale customers if its service falls below performance targets.
Openreach was spun out of BT in an effort to increase competitiveness in the broadband market. It was created to provide transparent and equal access to BTs infrastructure for third party ISPs.
While Ofcom acknowledges that BT has made good progress in increasing competition, it now wishes to accelerate the improvement, as ISPs are still facing problems with repairs on broadband lines.
Under the proposed new rules, BT will have to pay fines to ISPs if it fails to provide and repair services according to agreed performance targets.
BT will also be required to pay the fines proactively. There will be no need for the ISP to submit a claim and there will be no upper limit on the amount which must be paid if the problem is not dealt with.
Ofcom suggests that the fine should be due each time a service falls below the set target, rather then just averaging performance out over a period of time.
Ofcom is currently consulting on the proposals. The deadline for responses is 25 January 2016.