Ofcom consults on wholesale broadband price reform

UK regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on proposals to reform wholesale telephony and broadband charges with the objective of reducing prices paid by end consumers. 

Ofcom is proposing revised ‘charge controls’ on some BT Openreach products. According to Ofcom, these controls would reduce wholesale charges, which could be expected to lead to real-terms price reductions for consumers.

The consultation covers wholesale charges for fully unbundled lines, shared unbundled lines, where BT continues to provide a basic voice connection, and wholesale line rental, used by operators to offer voice telephone services to consumers using lines rented from Openreach.

For fully unbundled lines, Ofcom is propsing that the current regulator wholesale price of £82.46 (€95.83) a year should fall in real terms by between the Consumer Price Index – the rate of change in the price of a typical basket of consumer goods minus zero per cent and the CPI minus 6% each year. Larger falls are provisioned for shared lines and wholesale line rental.