Saturday 1 October 2016

Sky wants competition probe into UK broadband

Li-mei Hoang

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Rivals Sky and TalkTalk have stepped up their charge against BT ever since it announced its planned acquisition of EE, Britain's biggest mobile operator, at the end of last year.
Rivals Sky and TalkTalk have stepped up their charge against BT ever since it announced its planned acquisition of EE, Britain's biggest mobile operator, at the end of last year.

Sky has called for a competition inquiry into Britain's broadband market where it says BT, the market leader whose network upon which it relies, has an effective monopoly.

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Sky said in a submission to telecoms regulator Ofcom yesterday that it believed a history of under-investment in BT's infrastructure business, Openreach, had led to problems such as network faults and long waits for new lines to be installed.

Openreach operates and maintains Britain's telecoms network.

Sky said it regarded the issues it raised as sufficient for Ofcom, which is itself carrying out a review of the sector, to ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct an inquiry into BT's Openreach division.

Rivals Sky and TalkTalk have stepped up their charge against BT ever since it announced its planned acquisition of EE, Britain's biggest mobile operator, at the end of last year.

In March, the two firms asked Ofcom to break up BT, requesting that Openreach be spun off.

Ofcom said yesterday it was carrying out an overarching review of the communications market, including questions around structure and competition.

"We welcome evidence and analysis from all parties to help inform that work, and we will publish an update later in the summer," a spokeswoman for Ofcom said.

Sky said that Openreach has missed over 5,000 appointments each month to install new lines for its customers, which represents a third of broadband users on the network, and also failed to complete a further 4,000 jobs per month.

BT responded to the claims by saying Sky was engaged in "selective spin". (Reuters)

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