Dec 1, 2017

Ofcom chief attacks BT over slow broadband speeds

The chief executive of telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched a broadside against BT, saying that the company needs to ramp up its roll out of fibre and invest more heavily to avoid the UK lagging the world in broadband speeds. "Competition for fibre is growing, as will consumer demand for it. As the owner of Openreach - the national telecoms network which is becoming more independent from BT - it should act in the interest of all of its customers who rely on it, as well as its shareholders." Ms White said BT had to do drastically better when only 3 per cent of British premises were able to connect to a full fibre line, compared with 60 per cent in Spain. Relations between the regulator and BT have remained strained as the company has challenged Ofcom's plans to improve competition in the business broadband market and to auction airwaves needed to launch 5G services. Ms White praised companies investing in full fibre networks including Virgin Media's £3bn Project Lightning programme, as well as smaller initiatives from Hyperoptic, KCom, CityFibre, Vodafone and Gigaclear.

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