BT rivals claim wholesale fibre pricing is too high

6 Apr 2011

A number of alternative British broadband operators have claimed that the proposed pricing for access to fixed line incumbent BT’s fibre-optic high speed network could harm the government’s plans for broadband rollouts in rural regions, while also undermining competition. According to Bloomberg, operators including Virgin Media and TalkTalk have written to the government, calling for intervention by the state and arguing that it would be more cost effective to build a separate network to BT’s ducts and poles than to pay the incumbent’s suggested charges for wholesale access. A letter written by the operators and cited by the report noted: ‘Urgent intervention is now needed to require BT to quickly revise the pricing of the proposed product,’ while it also claimed that the government process ‘risks a lack of vigorous competition and as a result, will fail to deliver the investment.’ In response meanwhile BT said: ‘Our proposed prices for duct access compare very well with European averages whilst our plans for pole access have been held up due to others delaying our trials.’