New Ofcom tests could force BT to raise broadband prices

BT could be forced to raise broadband prices or make its network more affordable for rival providers according to strict new proposals outlined by Ofcom.

Providers such as TalkTalk use BT's network to sell superfast broadband to customers. Ofcom's implemented new regular tests it believes will ensure competition between providers and prevent BT from pricing its rivals out of the market.

If BT fails the tests, which will take place every two years, it will have to cut the rates it charges providers or raise the prices for broadband users.

Fortunately for BT, it passed the last set, with Ofcom ruling that its current pricing complies with requirements. Even so, BT is not exactly happy with the new rules, which still need to be approved by the European Commission. A statement from the provider read: "Ofcom's statement is misconceived but not unexpected as it largely confirms the approach they outlined last year. We will now consider our response, which may include an appeal."

Ofcom's new tests could also have a wider impact on BT's live sports offerings. The regulator has said that sports costs will factor into the assessment and that could mean that BT will have less money to make higher bids for sporting rights in the future.

TalkTalk backed the new rulings and added that it would create "a more competitive market that better serves consumers."

Source: BBC News

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