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Broadband prices could fall after Openreach told to slash charges to rivals

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom has published proposals that will see BT Openreach cut how much it charges rivals to use its network, suggesting broadband prices for customers could fall.

BT-owned Openreach runs the UK’s entire broadband infrastructure and currently charges companies such as Sky and TalkTalk to use its network to supply superfast 40Mb broadband to customers.

But the new proposals would force BT to cut almost £100m from those charges, which could mean millions of broadband customers see a decrease in their monthly payments.

Related: BT Openreach split – what does it mean for you?

The current wholesale rate Openreach charges other companies works out to £88.80 a year for each individual superfast package.

These are the packages for superfast broadband that has a download speed of up to 40Mb/s. Under Ofcom’s new proposals, by 2020 or 2021 this charge could be slashed by 40% to £52.77 a year.

The regulator says the new rules are designed to “promote investment in new fibre networks and ensure that customers are protected from higher prices.”

BT Openreach

Ofcom also says it hopes the savings made by companies as a result will be passed on to customers.

The measues will also include stricter requirements on Openreach to repair faults and install new broadband lines more quickly.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s Competition Group Director, said: “Our plans are designed to encourage long-term investment in future ultrafast, full-fibre networks, while promoting competition and protecting consumers from high prices.

“People need reliable phone and broadband services more than ever. We’re making sure the market is delivering the best possible services for homes and business across the UK”

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Let us know what you think of the proposals in the comments.

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