Broadband industry slams BT’s monopoly for stifling innovation

Oliver Smith
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A trade group has slammed BT’s monopoly for stifling innovation (Source: Getty)
A trade group comprised of a dozen British telecoms firms, including Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk, yesterday labelled BT’s control of national infrastructure a “monopoly position” that blocked competition and restricted innovation.

The UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) called on Ofcom to let its members lay their own cables in BT ducts, use their own equipment to power BT’s fibre and hold its infrastructure arm, Openreach, to higher standards.

UKCTA also said that Ofcom “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.”

BT said: “The UK has a vibrant wholesale business connectivity market, with strong competition and innovation amongst a large number of providers... forcing Openreach to offer access to its ducts or dark fibre would increase costs and add extra complexity to way UK businesses are served.”

Ofcom said: “We make no apology for protecting consumers... that work goes hand-in-hand with promoting competition.”

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