C&W Savage Ofcom Decision on BT Deregulation

The UK’s telecoms industry regulator Ofcom has confirmed an earlier decision to allow BT Group PLC to cut prices for large business customers, provided certain criteria are met.

Following a lengthy investigation into BT’s large business prices, Ofcom said it would scrap rules obliging the former monopoly to offer the same line and call charges to all business customers spending more than £1million a year..

Ofcom will also abandon a requirement forcing BT to publish details of its large contracts, which the telecoms giant believes has given competitors like Cable & Wireless PLC an unfair advantage.

However, the restrictions will only be lifted when BT can show that its competitors can offer similar business market services by using products available through the group’s wholesale arm.

Responding to the Ofcom statement Jim Marsh, UK CEO of Cable & Wireless, said:

“Ofcom’s plans to deregulate BT’s activities in the corporate market are markedly premature.
Deregulation won’t help improve the service we, and other customers, receive from BT – indeed, as its largest independent customer, we have yet to see any positive impact from the creation of Openreach.

“At Cable & Wireless, we are focusing on the top end corporate market with a strategy that puts customer service at the heart of everything we do. This approach is resonating with customers who are crying out for a real alternative to BT.”