BT/Openreach fined GBP42m over ‘serious breach’ of rules

27 Mar 2017

British telecoms regulator Ofcom has found that BT’s infrastructure division Openreach had breached its contractual and regulatory obligations by inadequately and retrospectively applying ‘Deemed Consent’ – an agreed process which allows Openreach to halt the installation and reschedule the delivery date for providing dedicated business services (known as Ethernet) in a number of specific circumstances beyond its control – between January 2013 and December 2014. Following the investigation, Ofcom decided to impose a fine of GBP42 million (USD52.4 million) on the wholesale provider; in addition, Openreach agreed to provide full compensation to the affected communications providers – currently estimated at GBP300 million.

TeleGeography notes that earlier this month, BT and its former network arm agreed to legally separate their operations, in order to address the competition concerns raised by the regulator. Under the restructuring plan, Openreach will become a distinct company with its own management board, separate strategy and control over budget allocation, with company assets to be controlled by Openreach alone.

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Ofcom, Openreach