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Ofcom Probe BT’s Conduct During Tender for N.Ireland PSN Contract

Thursday, April 4th, 2019 (12:40 pm) - Score 1,710
northern ireland uk map

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has today opened a new investigation that will examine BT’s conduct during the tender for the recent £50m Northern Ireland Public Sector Shared Network contract, which will consider whether or not the operator kept within the Significant Market Power (SMP) rules.

Last year the Department of Finance announced that BT had won a major new contract – initially valued at around £50m over 9 years – to provide connectivity services to public sector organisations in Northern Ireland via a new Public Sector Shared Network (NI PSSN). The first core network services are due to be made available by this summer.

However Ofcom has today launched an investigation to “consider” whether BT has correctly complied with the relevant SMP conditions, as set out in their Fixed Access Market Review 2014 and the Wholesale Local Access Market Review 2018. At the time of writing the regulator hasn’t offered much detail, although they have outlined which aspects they intend to probe (here).

Specifically, Ofcom will consider:

  • Whether BT provided network access on reasonable request and on fair and reasonable terms, conditions and charges as required by SMP condition 1;
  • Whether BT unduly discriminated against other communications providers as prohibited by SMP condition 4; and/or
  • Whether BT provided network access on an Equivalence of Inputs basis as required by SMP condition 5.

We should point out that BT Enterprise won the contract and Openreach are supplying them.

A Spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We are aware of Ofcom’s investigation and we will, of course, provide any information they require in the course of their enquiries.”

End.

UPDATE 2:36pm

Updated to add Openreach’s quote and clarify the company relationships.

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Joe

    Er?

    How can they breach those 3 points in a tender?! I can see how they could breach them post build or in existing deployments but not at tender….

  2. Avatar Christine conder

    good luck with that Ofcom. all part of the superfarce.

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