Ofcom has slapped BT with a record £42m fine for a ‘serious breach’ of the rules governing the provision of Ethernet services to other telecoms companies.
The case involves BT’s Openreach arm, which is responsible for managing the copper and fibre cables and supporting infrastructure that provides telephone and internet services to almost all homes and businesses in the UK. Rival firms depend on this infrastructure to supply their own services, and there have been many complaints that BT has been too slow in rolling out these services.
Prompted by an initial complaint by Vodafone, which claimed that Openreach had failed to compensate it for late delivery of Ethernet cables, an Ofcom investigation found that between January 2013 and December 2014, BT had committed a “serious breach” of the terms of its contracts in order to reduce compensation payments to its rival operators.
“We found BT broke our rules by failing to pay other telecoms companies proper compensation when these services were not provided on time,” said Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s investigations director said in a statement.
“The size of our fine reflects how important these rules are to protect competition and, ultimately, consumers and businesses,” he added.
Full Content: Express
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