Ofcom plans for BT could see cheaper broadband and telephone services

THE cost of broadband and landline telephone services are expected to fall after Ofcom announced plans to cut the amount BT can charge rivals to rent lines.

The communications regulator has proposed cuts of up to 19 per cent in the amount that BT’s wholesale network Openreach, which owns the majority of landlines in the country, will be able to charge from April, with further decreases the following year.

This is the third time Ofcom has set the prices that Openreach charges other companies for using their lines and its proposals are expected to benefit BT’s rivals such as TalkTalk and Sky, who may choose to pass on the lower costs to consumers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, BT said it is considering appealing against Ofcom’s decision because it disagrees with the way it had done its calculations.

BT said it needed to get a “fair” rate of return if it is to continue investing in the UK’s infrastructure. It is currently rolling out superfast broadband to two-thirds of the population by 2014.

A BT spokesman said: “Whilst the prices are within the range outlined by Ofcom in November, we disagree with some of the underlying assumptions that they have used to determine these charge controls.”

Ofcom’s plans would see the amount BT can charge for a telephone and broadband line fall 4.5 per cent to £87.41 per year. The cost of using a broadband line only should also drop 18.9 per cent to £11.92.