THE COST of switching superfast internet policies is set to plummet under proposals from Ofcom designed to improve competition.
The UK’s communications watchdog yesterday published plans to force BT to lower the installation fees it levies on operators who use its fibre-optic infrastructure, including TalkTalk and Sky. It also plans to reduce the minimum length of these wholesale contracts from one year to a month.
By reducing the cost of switching and by introducing shorter contracts, Ofcom hopes to make it easier for customers who want superfast fibre broadband to switch between providers, in the same way that consumers can chop and change energy providers. BT could also be fined if new installations are delayed, a move that Ofcom hopes will put an end to customers being left without internet connections for weeks.
The regulator stopped short of explicitly proposing to regulate how much BT can charge providers for access to its superfast network, a measure that TalkTalk had lobbied for, although it left the issue open.
Nonetheless, TalkTalk welcomed the plans, while BT said: “We are pleased that Ofcom is maintaining pricing freedom for [our] fibre products.”