UK's Ofcom allows Openreach to cut prices
Britain’s telecoms regulator has allowed BT to cut wholesale prices at its Openreach networking arm, despite claims from competitors that it would give the company an unfair advantage.
Openreach can now implement its so-called “Equinox 2” plan that will cut prices for broadband network clients such as BT & Sky on the proviso that they use its full-fibre products for new orders instead of old outdated copper connections – often the subject of complaints because they have been poorly maintained.
“Based on the evidence available to us, we don’t consider Openreach’s new pricing discounts to be anti-competitive," Ofcom said in a statement. Rivals such as Virgin Media O2 have been fighting the change.
The decision comes after billionaire Patrick Drahi lifted his stake in BT to 24.5% from 18% on Tuesday, after a hit to the share price on poorly-received results and job cuts last week.
Ofcom said it had taken into account the impact of the pricing plans on consumers, rival broadband providers and so-called 'altnets', new entrants in the underserved full-fibre market.
Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com