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BT Pays Ofcom UK £3.73 Million After Reporting Incorrect Turnover

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 (11:45 am) - Score 2,717
ofcom uk telecoms regulator

Ofcom has today confirmed that broadband and telecoms giant BT reported an incorrect level of turnover information to the regulator for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, which meant they had breached the regulator’s rules and a related 2011 General Demand for Information (GDI).

At present some of the work that Ofcom does is funded by administrative charges, which are payable by certain electronic communications providers like BT. The regulator uses information about company turnover to help set the level of administrative charges paid by those companies that contribute to their budget.

However, as a result of the aforementioned mistake, the telecoms giant ended up paying a lower admin charge to the regulator. BT has now agreed to pay the outstanding admin charge, including an additional interest payment, of £3,727,330 to Ofcom.

The payment represents the application of the tariff for each Relevant Charging Year to BT’s restated Relevant Turnover information. The outstanding amount, which was officially paid on 29th July 2019, is derived by comparing this result with the original amount paid.

Ofcom Statement

In May 2018, BT formally reported to us that it believed it had incorrectly stated its turnover information for the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Following an investigation, we have determined that BT provided inaccurate information in response to the 2011 GDI, and has therefore breached section 135 of the Act. A non-confidential version of our decision is available (PDF, 224.2 KB).

BT has cooperated fully with our investigation and has agreed not to contest our findings.

Ofcom could have imposed a penalty too but on balance they “decided that it is not appropriate” in this case. Crucially the regulator noted that BT had been both very cooperative in its engagement over this issue and that the problem itself had “not resulted in any direct harm to UK citizens or consumers.”

Meanwhile BT itself blamed the problem on how “staff preparing the return misunderstood the data sources used, and as a result used the data incorrectly.” BT added that they have since put in place additional assurances intended to prevent a repeat of the errors. Ofcom will also be seeking additional assurances for future submissions.

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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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4 Responses
  1. Avatar Karen

    Quite unbelievable that the BT CFO and Auditors agreed on finances for this period of BT finances for this period.

  2. Avatar David Burgess

    BT fined again by Ofcom. Surely it’s about time they got their books in order. With American company now trying to sue the company over the Italian scandal I’m beginning to think maybe be best to unload my shares before they become just a piece of paper.

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