Sky wants the markets watchdog to investigate BT Openreach

Charlotte Henry
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BT Openreach is under fire from Sky (Source: Getty)

Sky wants media regulator Ofcom to launch a full investigation into the UK’s broadband market and get the competition watchdog involved.

Yesterday, Sky published the evidence it has submitted to Ofcom, which highlights what Sky considers to be the low quality service offered by BT’s Openreach division, which runs the UK’s telecoms network.

Sky’s broadband customers rely on access to the Openreach network, but the company said they are regularly failed by Openreach.

Sky argues that it takes 10 days or longer for Openreach engineers to attend 90 per cent of new line installations, with Sky customers’ fitting dates changing 36,000 times a month, in the year to March 2015.

Other complaints include Openreach’s long repair times. Sky believes BT does not invest enough in Openreach, which it said subsequently meant that service innovation is stifled. The so-called final mile of cabling which delivers broadband into people’s homes, and is critical in determining the browsing speed users get, is still done by copper wire, which is much slower than fibre optic cabling.

Sky’s chief strategy officer Mai Fyfield said: “Ofcom should move quickly to ask the Competition and Markets Authority to undertake a full competition inquiry.” BT hit back last night and said: “The forthcoming Ofcom review is an important piece of work so it is disappointing that Sky are engaging in selective spin rather than constructive dialogue.”

A BT spokesperson added that it has passed all sixty of the Openreach service targets it was set by Ofcom.

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