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Ofcom set out to improve broadband in UK with new guidelines

Paul Lipscombe
March 29, 2018

Ofcom reveal new guidelines to help improve broadband in Britain and come in next month

Ofcom has announced a new set of rules which will set out to improve broadband in Britain from April 1.

The guidelines which were initially drafted on February 23 and then reviewed by the European Commission for consultation, will be implemented with the hope of increasing investment in full fibre broadband networks and to help improve the quality of the service offered by Openreach.

Under new rules Ofcom have challenged BT to open their telegraph poles and underground tunnels to rival providers, which will allow for their own full fibre networks to be assembled quicker.

Among other changes, Ofcom will no longer be regulating prices of Openreach broadband products with the incentive for operators to build full fibre networks.

More affordable superfast broadband will be available for people and businesses as wholesale prices that Openreach can charge telecoms companies has been reduced.

Ofcom has also proposed an Openreach ’40/10′ package for a monthly cost of £12.06 and hope to roll this out by 2021.

This service offers customers a download speed of 40 Mbit/s and an upload speed of 10 Mbit/s. The figure was initially £11.92 in the first draft but has been reviewed to reflect inflation and BT’s pension costs.

There will also be tougher measures in place for Openreach to repair faults and for quicker installation of new broadband lines.

Welcoming the new changes uSwitch head of regulation Richard Neudegg commented: “The decision to reduce wholesale price for entry-level fibre broadband is especially welcome, helping to ensure cost is not a barrier to consumer uptake of superfast services.”

“We cannot simply rely on a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. Too many households are still lagging behind on poorly suited services and risk being left behind. It’s time to ensure consumers are brought along on this journey to a full fibre Britain.”

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