Dec 3, 2020

Ofcom removes BT price controls to help boost UK broadband upgrade

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has signalled its support for BT's £12bn upgrade of Britain's broadband network and said it would not introduce price controls on full fibre-optic services for at least 11 years. Ofcom will in March publish its review of the UK wholesale telecoms market, which will set the ground rules for the sector for the next five years. That review is critical for the future of BT and its Openreach division, which is subject to strict price controls because it runs the UK national network that is used by providers such as Sky and TalkTalk to provide broadband services. BT has promised to connect 20m homes to full fibre lines over the course of the next decade but that depends on the Ofcom review and the rate of return it is permitted to make on that investment. Ofcom's support for the BT upgrade comes at a time when European telecoms stocks have been under huge pressure.

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