The communications watchdog Ofcom has stated that BT must open up its cable network to allow competition to improve Internet connections throughout the UK.
Consequently, this move will enable more businesses to access improved cloud computing technologies, and Ofcom has stated that decent and affordable broadband should be a universal right. According to recent reports 2.4 million households and small businesses cannot yet access a decent broadband speed of 10Mbits per second.
Ofcom has also announced that it intends to introduce tougher rules on BT’s faults, installations and repairs. In response to this a BT spokesman said: “Openreach is already one of the most heavily regulated businesses in the world but we have volunteered to accept tighter regulation.
We are happy to let other companies use our ducts and poles if they are genuinely keen to invest very large sums as we have done.”
Companies who pay to use the network have said that BT underinvested in Openreach which has caused a poor service with interruptions and slow speeds. BT will now be told it must allow easier access for its rivals to lay down their own fibre cables along Openreach’s underground cable ducts and telegraph poles.
The future of Openreach and BT
The Chief Executive of Ofcom, Sharon White spoke to the BBC, stating that: “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.
If we cannot get the responsiveness to customers that we’re seeking, then … we reserve the right, formally, to separate [BT and Openreach].”