BT dealt a blow as Ofcom rules rivals could get control of its fibre-optic cablesComments Off on BT dealt a blow as Ofcom rules rivals could get control of its fibre-optic cables
At the moment, rivals such as Vodafone and TalkTalk lease lines from BT’s Openreach network, which is designed for companies, mobile-phone and broadband firms to use. They depend on BT to provide the service.
But Ofcom wants BT to give access to its so-called “dark-fibre” lines, so they can be directly controlled by rivals.
The name comes from the idea that they are not “lit up” by BT but by someone else.
It is a victory for BT’s rivals who criticised its £12.5 billion takeover of EE and demanded interventions from the regulator to reduce the risk of the former monopoly having an unfair advantage.
BT said Openreach creates a level playing field, adding: “Mandating dark fibre risks favouring a few companies that have the greatest capability to deploy it, to the disadvantage of all other firms.”
It comes in the week BT handed out £78 million worth of shares to 1000 employees in bonuses, including chief executive Gavin Patterson, who pocketed nearly £2 million worth.