Ofcom slaps £42 million fine on BT for delays to competitors

Monday, March 27th 2017

Ofcom has slapped a fine of £42 million on BT Group for the failure of its Openreach arm to compensate other telecoms providers for delays in installation of the 'Ethernet' services. The regulator found in its investigation that BT misused terms of its contract, during January of 2013 to December of 2014, to reduce compensation it had to pay to other telecoms providers.

The investigation found BT had broken the rules that address BT's 'significant market powers'. This power is derive from the fact that BT provides the network to most telecoms companies, who provide customers with broadband access. BT has admitted to the failings and agreed to compensate the affected telecoms companies.

After Vodafone alleged that BT had misused contract terms by delayed delivery of Ethernet services without its consent and has failed to compensate Vodafone for delays, Ofcom opened investigations. Ofcom has fined BT too for failing to provide information, with a £300,000 fine.

Ofcom's investigations director, Gaucho Rasmussen, said the high-speed lines are vital to the digital backbone of the country and millions of people rely on it for everyday services they use. The size of the fine shows how important Ofcom's rules for protecting competition, businesses and consumers are and the message is clear, he added.

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