Ofcom has granted BT Openreach the right to raise thewholesale prices that it charges other operators for LLU line rental by justover 6% to £86.40 for a fully unbundled line, but BT has claimed the rise doesn’tgo far enough.
“Ofcom has taken a tentative step towards rebalancing themarket but that step is insufficient and creates real disincentives for futureinvestment. It was previously agreed that Openreach would be allowed to fullyrecover its costs and that is all we are asking for,” BT said in a statement circulated to the media
The rise is at the low-end of the price range announced byOfcom late last year, when it said prices could go over £90, and there can beno denying that given the disastrous results BT posted earlier in the month, itcould have used the extra cash.
BT also believes it has grounds for complaint given theprice rises are also the first it ahs been allowed to implement sinceOpenreach, which owns and manages BT’s copper network, was formed in 2006, andtherefore do not account for inflation over the past three years.
The telco also insinuated that investment in its 21CNnext-generation network would suffer.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards insisted that the newpricing would “enable Openreach to make a fair return whilst allowing continuedstrong consumer take-up of broadband at competitive prices.”
Ofcom claims there are now nearly 6 million unbundled linesactive in the UK.