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Broadband prices could fall after Ofcom announces it is to cut wholesale price Openreach can charge

PUBLISHED: 08:59 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 31 March 2017

Ofcom has said it is set to reduce the wholesale price Openreach can charge. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Ofcom has said it is set to reduce the wholesale price Openreach can charge. Picture: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Ofcom said it will cut the wholesale price Openreach can charge telecoms companies to help boost investment in superfast broadband.

The move would see the prices charged by BT’s infrastructure arm falling from the current level of £88.80 per year to £52.77 per year in 2020/2021, the watchdog said.

It said it expected companies to pass down the costs savings to customers in the form of lower bills.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, said: “Our plans are designed to encourage long-term investment in future ultrafast, full-fibre networks, while promoting competition and protecting consumers from high prices.

“People need reliable phone and broadband services more than ever. We’re making sure the market is delivering the best possible services for homes and business across the UK.”

The measures will also demand Openreach fixes faults and rolls out broadband lines at a quicker pace.

The telecoms watchdog said it could fine the operation if it fails to meet the new targets.

The price controls enforced by Ofcom will apply to the most popular broadband line used by rivals such as Talk Talk and Sky, which has a download speed of 40 megabytes per second and an upload speed of 10 megabytes per second.

However, Openreach will maintain full control over the prices for lines with an even faster speed in the hope that it will spur telecoms firms towards installing their own superfast lines to rival BT.

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