Vodafone UK has said that regulator Ofcom’s move of easing restrictions on BT’s mechanism for charging businesses for provision of fiber connections will be resulting in higher bills for universities, hospitals and companies, and asked the regulator for turning over that move which was in place to restrict BT on how much it can charge those entities.
Already in 2016, Ofcom came up relaxing price regulation in central London, based on the finding of a review and said that BT was not in an influential position in the market. And now with the current move, regulator has eased those price regulations in other cities where BT has been in competition with two or more companies. Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh are also included in newly added cities where price regulations have been relaxed.
Leased lines provide high-speed data connection for broadband access networks, mobile base stations and offices; and criterion of the price cap for those leased line which previously was on cost-basis has now been changed to a flat rate-basis.
Ofcom said the new changes, which the regulator has finalized in June this year, will be beneficial to companies in competition with BT as it will provide them with opportunity to build networks on their own.
Vodafone is in views that the Ofcom’s move will put an extra burden over public sector organizations and businesses as because of these changes, over the next 20 month, they will have to pay an additional amount of 230 million pounds ($282 million).
Helen Lamprell, Vodafone UK’s general counsel and external affairs director, told reporters that Vodafone is essentially not in support of restrictions as it is in favor of free markets policy, but in a market where a single company has a dominating position with power to influence things, then extreme care should be exercised by the regulators before making any decision of relaxing restrictions.