BT told to lower prices

BT came under fire yesterday as telecoms regulator Ofcom said it should make “significant reductions” to the wholesale price of its broadband to boost internet uptake in rural areas.

Ofcom has proposed BT cut the price it charges other internet service providers to lease its broadband infrastructure by more than ten per cent in areas where it is the only provider, it said.

BT may have to cut its wholesale charges by between 10.7 per cent and 14.7 per cent below inflation, so ISPs could pass on the cost saving to consumers, or give people more bandwidth to increase internet speeds.

Ofcom estimates that 22 per cent of UK households do not have a competitive broadband market, and these are mainly in rural areas.

A BT spokesman said any changes should “strike the right balance between control and incentives to invest in rural areas.”