Consumers could benefit from new price controls for BT Openreach

UK households may soon benefit from lower home broadband and landline costs after new pricing controls for BT Openreach’s line rental products were officially set by Ofcom.
The new prices that BT can charge rivals for access to their Openreach network were proposed by the telecoms regulator last month, before being sent off to the European Commission for approval.
The proposals have now been approved without any changes, allowing Ofcom to enforce the new charges, which are expected to come into effect on 1st April 2012.
In a statement, Ofcom said: “The price controls are designed to protect the interests of consumers while providing BT and communications providers with the appropriate incentives to continue to invest in networks and services.”
BT is now required to lower its pricing for the use of a broadband and phone line from £91.50 a year to £87.41, while the cost for a communications provider to use a broadband line only is also expected to fall from £14.70 a year to £11.92.
While the new caps will not directly lead to lower retail prices, the regulator said it expects operators to pass the savings gained through the cuts on to their customers, ultimately leading to ‘cheaper broadband and landline prices for consumers’.
Unsurprisingly, BT said it was disappointed that the pricing controls had been approved was approved and is considering appealing the decision as it continues to “disagree” with the way Ofcom calculated the cuts.