Britain’s largest telecoms service providers have reportedly filed a complaint with regulator Ofcom in which they have called for greater competition in the business broadband market. According to Reuters, alongside claims that BT has an effective monopoly in the market in question, the UK Competitive Telecommunications Association (UKCTA) is said to have suggested that alternative operators should be allowed to lay their own cables in the fixed line incumbent’s ducts and use their own equipment to control BT’s cables. Arguing that such a move would improve services and encourage innovation, the UKCTA also claimed that as it stands it often remains unclear to consumers as to who is responsible for the network when services are disrupted.
In response, however, a BT spokesman was cited as saying that forcing the company’s network infrastructure arm Openreach to open up access to ducts would increase costs, while pointing out that the telco was already voluntarily publishing its service performance to reflect its commitment to improving service. ‘The UK already has the most competitive broadband market of any major European country … Our job is to ensure that customers benefit not only from innovation, but also from good quality of service and a fair deal,’ he noted.