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Ofcom Probes BT Excess Construction Charges for Business Lines

Thursday, July 18th, 2019 (12:56 pm) - Score 2,435
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Ofcom has today opened a new investigation to examine whether BT has complied with its charging obligations, which occurred after the UK operator indicated to the regulator that it may not have correctly billed for Excess Construction Charges (ECCs) when providing new business lines (Ethernet services etc.).

Sometimes delivering a new high-capacity leased line / Ethernet service requires Openreach to performance additional civil engineering work. In keeping with that their Excess Construction Charges (ECCs) typically cover the cost of either providing additional services or dealing with “situations where the normal cost of providing service is in excess of that listed within the Openreach price list.”

The regulator’s Business Connectivity Market Review also imposes a number of charge controls on such service. For example, since 16th May 2014 BT has been subject to an obligation to exempt certain new provisions of business connectivity services from the first £2,800 of ECCs.

However BT is allowed to make up the resulting loss of revenue with a balancing charge, which is part of the standard connection charge for all relevant business connectivity services. Apparently there may have been a problem on this front.

Ofcom Statement

BT has provided Ofcom with information indicating that it may not have correctly applied the ECC exemption to a number of relevant business connectivity orders since the beginning of the ECC exemption regime.

As per usual the notice is extremely light on detail and Ofcom has not provided any indication for when it might report back on the results of their probe. A Spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview.co.uk: “We’re aware of Ofcom’s investigation and we will, of course, provide any information they need through the course of their enquiries.

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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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1 Response
  1. Avatar Paul Green

    Good!

    They were trying to charge me nearly £800 to dig 12 meters in soft ground.

    I told them to shove it and ill dig it myself.

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