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Ofcom Drop Probe of BT Excess Construction Charges for Biz Lines

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020 (11:39 am) - Score 1,564

Ofcom has decided to drop last year’s investigation into whether BT had correctly billed for Excess Construction Charges (ECCs) when providing new UK business lines (Ethernet services etc.). The regulator made their decision in light of the “limited consumer harm” and “proactive steps” that Openreach had taken to address the issue.

The case was opened last summer (here), after the operator voluntarily indicated to the regulator that it may not have correctly billed for some ECCs. Sometimes delivering a new high-capacity leased line / Ethernet service requires Openreach to perform additional civil engineering work and these often come at extra cost.

As part of that BT, in certain situations, is also allowed to make up any 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 but ultimately Ofcom seems to be happy with how the operator responded.

Ofcom’s Statement

Having gathered and reviewed further information from Openreach, we have decided not to proceed with the investigation on administrative priority grounds.

We have made this decision in light of the limited consumer harm and the proactive steps Openreach has taken to address the issue, including voluntarily reimbursing all affected telecoms providers for the full amount of the ECC overcharge including interest.

End.

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