Communications regulator Ofcom has told BT that it must open up its network of telegraph poles and underground cable ducts to rivals to allow for more competition between UK broadband providers, helping to improve the availability of good internet connections.
Ofcom mentioned the complete break-up of BT was an option, but has not demanded this at the current time.
BT welcomed the report, saying it was happy for other companies to use its network as long as they were willing to invest in it.
Ofcom report also highlighted the 'digital divide' between UK homes
with access to the latest broadband technology and those out of reach
due to their location. The watchdog said that 'decent, affordable
broadband should be a universal right'.
BT's rivals had previously
called for the separation of BT and Openreach, the part of its
operation which manages the infrastructure of its cable and fibre
network. They claimed that BT had not invested enough in Openreach,
resulting in a poor service with interruptions and slow speeds.
will now be required to allow rivals access to underground ducts and
telegraph poles so that they can install their own fibre cables.
has also stated that it intends to introduce tougher rules relating to
BT's faults, repairs and installations, and advised that Openreach
should be allowed greater independence from BT to make its own decisions
on budget and strategy.
Speaking to the BBC, Chief Executive of
Ofcom, Sharon White, said: "Openreach does need major reform and the key
thing is that it's independent so that it responds to all its
customers, not just BT."
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