BT has today secured a major breakthrough, which could lead to more affordable prices for some of the fastest broadband plans on the market.
Superfast broadband could be about to get much, much more affordable. That’s because BT-owned Openreach, which owns most of the broadband infrastructure across the UK, has confirmed plans to slash the wholesale prices charged to third-party firms that rely on its full-fibre internet cables.
With these savings now being passed onto providers that rely on Openreach, including the likes of Sky, EE, Vodafone, TalkTalk, and others, it could see monthly prices drop for customers across the country. The proposed price cut could see the monthly wholesale rental of 115Mbps and 1,000Mbps connections drop from £17.44 and £31.57 down to £15.50 and £22, respectively. Those are substantial savings.
For those who don’t know, full-fibre – also known as Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) – refers to connections without any ageing copper cables. Fibre-optic cables allow for much faster speeds, up to 1,000Mbps compared to the 70Mbps average download speed nationwide, and aren’t impacted by bad weather.
When BT-owned Openreach first floated plans to slash wholesale prices back in July, some rival broadband suppliers raised concerns. Alternative network builders, which operate outside of Openreach, such as Virgin Media, were among those who raised concerns after having collectively spent billions on their own rival FTTP networks, ISPreview reported.
These telecommunication firms fear the Openreach price cut, which is known as the Equinox offer, could ultimately lead to less competition within fibre infrastructure. However, despite these concerns, regulator Ofcom this week confirmed “no action” will be taken against the price cut.
In a statement, the regulatory body said: “Our view is that we should take no action at this time. In reaching our view, we have considered the impact on competition. For the reasons set out above, we do not consider that the Equinox Offer will have a material adverse impact on competition. We have also considered the impact on different stakeholders.”