U.K. communications regulator Ofcom announced on Sunday that BT will be fined £42 million for “a serious breach of Ofcom’s rules.” The agency says that an investigation into BT’s network arm, Openreach, showed the company reduced compensation payments to other telecommunications providers for late installations. Specifically, Ofcom charges that between January 2013 and December 2014, BT misused the terms of its contracts to reduce compensation payments owed to other providers for failing to deliver Ethernet services on time.
In a statement, Ofcom explains the enforcement action took place because BT breached rules that address the operator’s “significant market power” since most U.K. telecommunications companies rely on access to BT’s network to provide services such as broadband to their customers.
“These high-speed lines are a vital part of this country’s digital backbone. Millions of people rely on BT’s network for the phone and broadband services they use every day,” Ofcom’s Investigations Director Gaucho Rasmussen comments. “The size of our fine reflects how important these rules are to protect competition and, ultimately, consumers and businesses.”
Additionally, BT will also reportedly be fined £300,000 for failing to provide information to Ofcom.
More details on the fines and the investigation is at the Ofcom site here.
Filed Under: Industry regulations