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Ofcom hits BT with new broadband installation rules

Staff writer |
BT Group will have to cut the prices and speed installation times for its high-speed business lines, after UK telecoms regulator Ofcom laid out its stricter new rules for its Openreach infrastructure arm.

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Once they are approved by the European Commission, the stricter new rules are due to be finalised at the end of April, forcing BT to improve the service it provides to wholesale clients like Sky and TalkTalk.

However, the proposals only call for ethernet installation times to be brought back to the levels reached five years ago.

Ofcom said BT will be required to cut the time it takes to install customer's high-speed business lines from the current 48 working days to within 46 by the end of March 2017 and to cut this to 40 days the following year, which was the average level in 2011.

Having found that Openreach is currently failing to complete a quarter of leased line installations on the initial date it promised to its customer, Ofcom will demand that by the end of March 2017 80% of leased line orders must be completed by the date promised to customers, rising to 90% from April 2018.

Ofcom has also said that Openreach must fix at least 94% of faults on its leased line network within five hours. This will ensure that, while meeting the new rules on installations, BT continues to observe the need to fix faults quickly.

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