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Ofcom Fine UK ISPs Virgin Media £25K and MS3 £2K for Late Info

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 (9:41 am) - Score 993
ofcom uk telecoms regulator

Broadband ISPs Virgin Media and MS3 have been fined £25,000 and £2,000 respectively by the UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, after both companies missed the deadline for responding to a formal information request as part of the on-going Business Connectivity Market Review 2019 (BCMR) consultation.

The BCMR broadly focuses upon the market for leased line (Ethernet) style connectivity services, which reflects high-speed point-to-point data links that can be used to connect larger businesses and to supply capacity for both mobile network operators (base stations, masts etc.) and ISPs etc. Such services are thus seen as essential to support the provision of mobile, business and residential broadband services.

In the course of conducting the BCMR, Ofcom sent statutory information requests to various providers active in the market, requiring them to provide specified information by a deadline. Sadly the regulator found that Virgin Media, Cityfibre and MS3 had failed to provide the information they requested in time (note: they did deliver it at a later date) and were subsequently warned about this last September 2018.

Cityfibre was ultimately let off the hook because of an administrative error, which Ofcom accepted. By comparison the regulator said that neither Virgin Media nor MS3 gave a “reasonable explanation” for the delay and both were fined.

Ofcom Statement

Virgin Media and MS3 both submitted information beyond the set deadline, and gave no reasonable explanation for the delay. We take such failings seriously and have decided to fine both companies. We have also reminded them of the importance of responding to formal information requests by the deadlines set.

The amount of money we decide to fine a company always reflects the circumstances of the case, including the seriousness of the infringement and the size of the company.

Another network operator, CityFibre, also failed to submit information to us on time as part of the leased lines review. However, this was due to an administrative error, and given the specific circumstances of this case, we have decided not to fine the company.

No doubt none of the operators will lose much sleep over such a comparatively small fine and this was only an extremely minor breach of the rules, which was later corrected. Previously, Ofcom have also fined BT £300k and £70k for failing to comply with formal information requests, and have fined smaller providers Gateway (c.£15k) and Cloud M (£8k). The money raised from these fines is passed on to HM Treasury.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar kaptainkandikat

    To use the letters etc in the opening paragraph of a supposed news story seems pretty lazy journalism to me. (thats a joke in itself)

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