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BT Openreach and Ofcom Prep Wholesale Price Increases

Posted: 05th Dec, 2008 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has begun a new consultation on a range of proposed price increases that BT Openreach can charge broadband and voice providers for access to its main wholesale telecoms services. Openreach is responsible for ensuring that all rival operators and ISPs have equality of access to BT's local network:

The proposals cover Openreach’s network services to homes and businesses. They are designed to promote continued competition in the provision of voice and broadband services and to ensure that Openreach has the appropriate incentives to invest in delivering the services required by its customers.

Ofcom is consulting on the following ranges for annual rental charges for the first year of 2009/10:

  • A fully unbundled line: £85.00 to £91.00 (from £81.69 today);

  • Shared unbundled line: £15.60 to £16.20 (from £15.60 today);

  • Residential wholesale line rental: £100.68 and £104.40 (from £100.68 today);

  • Business wholesale line rental: £106.00 and £110.00 (from £110 today); and

  • Other related charges adjusting in line with underlying cost increases.
Ofcom has also proposed charges for unbundled lines for 2010/11. Full details can be found at: Details of ofcom proposals.

The consultation also considers how these charges might evolve over the next four years. Ofcom aims to have the new charges in place by April 2009. The consultation can be found at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/openreachframework/

The changes aren't huge, though fully unbundled (LLU) providers are likely to see the biggest difference. Typically most of the markets cheapest broadband ISPs use unbundled technology, which allows them to install their equipment in BT’s telephone exchanges and thus offer their own retail services and pricing.
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