Ofcom says it hopes to “promote competition among superfast broadband providers,” by lowering costs imposed by BT’s Openreach division and reducing wholesale contract lengths.
The proposals, which are now being consulted on, are part of a package of measures published on Wednesday by the telecoms regulator.
Openreach is responsible for installing and connecting services on behalf of all internet service providers whose products use BT’s copper and fibre broadband networks.
It is required to provide all companies with the same level of service and is prohibited from favouring BT Retail, the BT division for selling services to residential users.
If implemented, the costs Openreach charges ISPs when a customer switches superfast broadband provider would fall by up to 80% to around £15. In addition companies wholesales contract between Openreach and the customer’s new supplier would be reduced from a year to just one month.
The regulator says it expects the proposals “to flow through to consumer benefits in the form of lower retail prices and easier switching between superfast broadband providers.”
Ofcom is also proposing to strengthen reporting requirements on Openreach and to monitor the service it provides to BT Retail, relative to other wholesale customers.