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BT and Virgin Media team up against Ofcom broadband regulation



BT and Virgin Media have joined together in opposition against Ofcom’s proposals to open up high-speed broadband networks to rival companies.

The Financial Times, which claims it has seen the ‘strongly worded’ letter, reports that both parties state that allowing competitors to access networks would be bad for the industry.

According to the report, the letter claimed opening up the networks would result in higher prices and lower investment in the UK.

The letter also claimed that regulatory changes to the business broadband market would lead to “significant regulatory uncertainty, undermining the return on sunk investments and therefore disincentivising future infrastructure investments.”

BT’s rivals, meanwhile, claim that the telecoms giant has unfairly used its ownership of the UK’s fibre broadband network to hinder competition in the market.

Related: BT EE Deal: Is it a good thing for consumers?

Companies currently rely on BT’s Openreach division for its fibre broadband infrastructure.

According to rivals, BT has ‘stifled innovation’ through its alleged poor record of connecting new lines and fixing problems.

The rivals want the chance to lay their own cables, however the report explains that BT is ‘very concerned’ by the regulatory proposals.

BT reportedly said that “allowing multiple operators to tamper with the physical network will cause service faults for customers.”

Ofcom is currently review the telecoms market, and is considering whether it would be sensible to split off Openreach from BT.

Complaints against BT’s alleged monopoly have recently increased in number thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of network provider EE, which is currently the UK’s market leader in the sector.


March 31, 2015, 8:12 pm

BT and Virgin simply don't want anyone encroaching on their territory full stop. In some areas Virgin has a monopoly on high speed broadband completely because BT wont run their fibre into those areas. My area is one of those that Virgin would lose out on if BT did run their cables and the area was opened up to a plethora of high speed providers

I often wonder why BT wouldn't run their cables through here and surmised maybe its because Virgin have got the area sewn up now. But then again people would switch as thats what people like to do when they get a good option. Lets face i the current climate for the service industries is all built around switching.

I do think after reading this article BT and Virgin see a benefit of them having no more competition than each other and they may even have their own insider scheme dividing parts of the country into zones. No wonder they want to keep out healthy competition. No matter what ever else they are certainly no better than playground bullies. I hope whatever government we have not only sees through this insidious greedy scheme but are not corrupted by them to keep them on side.


March 31, 2015, 8:15 pm

Well it's nice that their main concern is for the consumer and they're not just representing their own duopolistic interests whilst pretending that they're advocates for competition.

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