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BT Slammed for Anti-Competitive Behaviour

A coalition of the UK’s biggest broadband providers has come together to launch an attack on BT over what they say is a monopoly abusing its position and they claim Ofcom is failing to address the problem.

The group consists of EE, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone and will be spearheaded by UK Competitive Telecoms Association, a trade body that also includes specialist business connectivity providers such as Colt, Level 3 and SSE. They aim to topple BT’s position in the business broadband market and gain control of more high capacity data links. They will put pressure on Ofcom to allow them to lay their own cables in BT ducts and use their own equipment to control BT cables.

The group will argue that BT has been allowed to increase data speeds and cut prices which has enabled them to restrict competition.

A spokesperson told the Telegraph first “Ofcom’s focus has now moved from competition to intrusive sector-specific consumer protection measures, often duplicating general consumer protection measures.

“UKCTA calls on Ofcom to return its focus to championing competition, which will drive innovation and enhance choice and the protection of consumers.”

A BT spokesman said the market was “vibrant” and that recent Ofcom data “clearly shows growing competition, which if anything supports the case for further deregulation”.

“We believe that forcing Openreach to offer access to its ducts or dark fibre would increase costs and add extra complexity to way UK businesses are served.”

This news follows BT asking Ofcom to fold their wholesale arm into Openreach to create a ‘mega division’. You can follow that story here

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine