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Technology / Networks

Ofcom proposes new measures to boost superfast broadband competition

UK communications industries regulator Ofcom has proposed new rules to boost competition among superfast broadband providers, facilitating consumers to switch and reduce contract lengths, as part of a key review of wholesale telecoms services.

The measures, which are currently out for consultation, would see wholesale cost of switching a customer from one superfast broadband provider to another would drop up to 80%, with the minimum length of contract between BT and the new supplier decreasing from one year to one month.

Ofcom said in a statement that proposals would be expected to flow through to consumer benefits in the form of lower retail prices and easier switching between superfast broadband providers.

"Ofcom is also concerned not to undermine the investment case for rolling out fibre," the regulator said.

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"Instead, Ofcom proposes to maintain a requirement that BT’s charges for access to its fibre network are fair and reasonable."

Ofcom will also seek separate targets for installation and repair time for consumers via the performance of BT’s network access unit, Openreach, while it will also add new lines to improve reliability for current customers.

The ongoing consultation on Fixed Access Market Reviews, which is scheduled to close on 25 September 2013, proposes not to control the wholesale price of virtual unbundled local access (VULA) .

Ofcom would release the review conclusions in spring 2014.

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CBR Staff Writer

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