updated 08:31 am EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
Repairs, installation targets for phone connections in UK could reduce under Ofcom proposals
British regulator Ofcom is considering changes to standards relating to installation and repairs to phone lines in the United Kingdom, as part of a three-yearly review. Openreach, the wholesale arm of BT which performs installations and fault repair for multiple telecommunications companies, as well as managing the infrastructure of the phone system, will receive lower fault repair targets and will be forced to offer reduced charges to customers, if Ofcom's proposals are accepted.
The regulator plans to cut the £50 ($84) cost associated with new Internet connections down to £11 ($18), reports Engadget, a cost that is sometimes passed by the Internet service provider to the subscriber. The minimum length of the wholesale contract between Openreach and the ISP could also be reduced, from one year to one month, in order to provide telecommunications providers more flexibility in contracts it offers to customers.
Faults would also need to be repaired within two working days 80 percent of the time, with the majority of new line installation appointments needing to take place within 12 working days of notification.
The proposals now pass to the European Commission for review and approval over the next month. If accepted, the new targets and pricing will alter gradually over three years, with the changes expected to be completely in force by April 2016. Failure to reach the targets would see sanctions levied against Openreach, which could include fines.