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UPDATE ISPs BT, Sky and TalkTalk in Compensation Dispute over LLU Lines

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 (10:59 am) - Score 1,061

Ofcom has today opened two similar but semi-separate disputes that concern BT’s provision of fully unbundled (MPF LLU) phone and broadband lines to TalkTalk and Sky Broadband, which the national telecoms operator is required to offer on “fair and reasonable terms“.

In the first dispute, Sky Broadband (BSkyB) complains that BT has “failed to comply with its [Significant Market Power] obligations” by not making compensation payments for its failure to meet service level commitments between 1st April to 31st October 2012 (e.g. delayed installations).

Dispute One – Sky vs BT

Sky submits that during the period 1 April to 31 October 2012 (“the relevant period”), the terms and conditions pursuant to which this service was supplied were not fair and reasonable on the basis that compensation should have been paid by BT for its failure to meet service level commitments as a consequence of the level of service provided falling below acceptable levels. Openreach argues that Sky is not entitled to compensation.

Sky and Openreach have failed to agree on whether Sky should be paid compensation by Openreach. Sky therefore referred the matter to Ofcom in October 2013.

In the second dispute, TalkTalk similarly submits that during the period 1st June to 31st August 2012 the “average time taken for Openreach to provide appointment availability increased significantly” and thus the level of service provided was deemed to be “not acceptable“.

TalkTalk follows by Sky’s example and argues that “compensation should have been payable where the level of service provided fell below acceptable levels“, although BTOpenreach once again claims that TalkTalk “is not entitled to compensation“.

The case(s), which appears to have been timed to coincide with today’s announcement of new rules to help improve Openreach’s performance (here), will remain open for submissions until 17th January 2014.

UPDATE 12:37pm

Below is a statement from BTOpenreach.

An Openreach Spokeswoman told ISPreview.co.uk:

These latest disputes relate to issues which have already been evaluated by Ofcom who found in BT’s favour at the time. Both Sky and TalkTalk would have benefitted from the SLG payments on offer from Openreach during the period in question but they chose not to sign up to the terms. Ofcom has already concluded that Openreach provided its fully unbundled product on fair and reasonable terms so we see no reason why they would change their view this time around.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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