CAT orders BT to reduce wholesale fees

13 Oct 2010

The UK’s fixed line incumbent, BT, has been told that it must reduce the fees charged to alternative operators for wholesale voice and broadband access. According to Bloomberg, the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that price caps put in place by Ofcom, the country’s telecoms regulator, in May 2009 were too high as a result of an error by the watchdog in calculating inflation and efficiency. The three-judge panel that considered the matter said that Ofcom should look to adopt new price controls ‘as soon as possible’, following which BT would be required to implement the new charges.

The CAT’s ruling comes after a finding by the Competition Commission which supported a number of claims made in the appeal which had been lodged by fixed voice and broadband providers TalkTalk and BSkyB. BT meanwhile has argued that the price cap implemented last year was too low to allow it to recover costs, with Gemma Thomas, a spokesperson for the incumbent, arguing that Ofcom’s errors were ‘relatively small’ compared to the claims made by TalkTalk.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Ofcom, Sky, TalkTalk (incl. FibreNation)