BT Forced to Lower Leased Line Costs for the Benefit of its Competitors – and Us

By Gary Cutlack on at

BT is about to face new pressure to cut the cost of leasing parts of its high-speed internet infrastructure to customers, and therefore some of its rival ISPs too, in a move that could cut the cost of internet contracts for the likes of us. Should the savings ever trickle down our pipes.

The thinking comes from headline worthy comms industry regulator Ofcom, which says that wholesale prices BT charges its competitors for leasing high-speed lines should be lowered to stop BT from overly capitalising on the "significant market power" its omnipresent legacy network has handed it on a plate. Ofcom says large institutions and the mobile and broadband operators who use BT's network to handle their traffic should see lower bills, which could, in an ideal world, result in lower contract costs for customers.

Ofcom said: "The new controls should lead to significant real-terms price reductions for most customers of the £2bn leased lines market, such as businesses, schools, universities and libraries. Consumer mobile and broadband operators, which use leased lines to transfer data on their networks, would also see savings which could be passed on to customers."

The proposal is to "bring prices down to costs" for BT over the next three years, by reducing what it is allowed to charge by several percent beneath the consumer price index. [Ofcom via BBC]