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BT ordered to cut Openreach fees for rivals

Telco not happy with 'underlying assumptions'

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National telco BT will cut the amount it charges its rivals to use Openreach telephone and broadband lines after Ofcom officially set the company's wholesale prices this morning.

The proposed fall in fees was submitted to the European Commission by the UK's communications watchdog last month. Ofcom regulates BT's Openreach division because the business has a dominant market position in Blighty.

Officials in Brussels approved the watchdog's "charge controls", which meant last month's price proposals remain unchanged.

For a fully unbundled line (telephone and broadband) to a property, Openreach will lower its annual rental charge from £91.50 to £87.41 for the 2012-13 financial year. A shared unbundled line (broadband only) to a property gets a wholesale price tag of £11.92 per year, compared with the current annual charge of £14.70.

Finally, wholesale line rental costs fall from £103.86 per year to an annual price tag of £98.81.

BT has already complained about some of "the underlying assumptions" used by Ofcom to determine the "charge controls".

The telecoms giant told The Register last month that it may appeal against Ofcom's price cuts. We've asked if that will now happen, but BT hadn't immediately got back to us with comment at time of writing.

The price cuts will be implemented on 1 April despite any protest that might come from BT. ®

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