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Ofcom says will not regulate BT's wholesale fibre prices
May 20, 2014 / 12:09 PM / 3 years ago

Ofcom says will not regulate BT's wholesale fibre prices

The British Telecom tower is seen in Birmingham, central England February 10, 2009. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s telecoms regulator Ofcom said it would not regulate the prices BT can charge competitors like TalkTalk and BSkyB to use its fibre-optic network to provide their own broadband services.

Ofcom said the price that BT’s wholesale unit Openreach could charge rivals for fibre was kept in check by competition from standard broadband on its copper network and from Virgin Media’s cable network.

BT shares were trading up 2.2 percent at 379 pence at 1243 BST. TalkTalk was up 2.6 percent at 306 pence, while BSkyB was up 0.6 percent at 864 pence.

“We see the results as broadly reassuring, notably that fibre pricing will not be directly regulated at this stage,” analysts at Citi said.

Ofcom’s draft decision will now be reviewed by the European Commission.

The regulator also proposed changes to the amount Openreach can charge other providers for access to its copper network for telephone and standard broadband.

Ofcom regulates certain charges in Britain’s telecoms market, where BT, the former state monopoly, is found to have significant market power.

It also specified that Openreach would be expected to complete about 80 percent of fault repairs within one to two working days.

The regulator said it would consult separately on the margin that BT sets between the wholesale price it charges and the retail price it charges customers, which has been challenged by some of its rivals.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Sarah Young

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