|Investigation into||BT Group plc|
|Case opened||12 June 2019|
|Case closed||17 October 2019|
This investigation considers whether BT complied with an information request issued by Ofcom under section 135 of the Communications Act 2003 in the course of Ofcom’s Business Connectivity Market Review 2019.
|Relevant legal provision(s)||
Section 135 of the Communications Act 2003
Since our provisional decision on 12 June, we have considered new information from Openreach on the cause and circumstances concerning the issue that was the subject of this investigation. This relates to an error within Openreach around 2005/6 to do with the renaming of certain products.
Based on this new information, and the proactive steps Openreach has taken to ensure a similar issue does not occur again, we have decided to close this investigation with no further action. We have also taken into account the processes Openreach has in place to ensure it provides accurate and complete information in response to statutory information requests.
Ofcom continues to take seriously any potential concerns regarding providers’ responses to statutory information requests and will not hesitate to take formal enforcement action where appropriate.
We have decided there are reasonable grounds for believing BT has contravened its obligations under section 135 of the Communications Act 2003 (the ‘Act’) as a result of Openreach's failure to provide complete information in response to an information request sent during our Business Connectivity Market Review (‘BCMR’) 2019.
We have issued a provisional notification under section 138 of the Act to BT setting out our reasons for this. BT now has an opportunity to make representations to us on our provisional decision, which we will take into account before we issue a final decision.
Ofcom’s BCMR examines the markets for the provision of leased lines in the UK. Leased lines are high speed, high-quality, point-to-point data connections that telecoms providers use for connecting offices, mobile base stations and broadband access networks. As such, they are essential to support the provision of mobile, business and residential broadband services, and form the backbone of the UK’s digital infrastructure.
In the course of the BCMR 2019, Ofcom sent statutory information requests to various communications providers active in the business connectivity markets, including BT's Openreach line of business, requiring them to provide specified information by a deadline set by Ofcom, in accordance with their obligations under section 135 of the Communications Act 2003.
Ofcom has opened an investigation into whether BT (which was at the time responsible for ensuring compliance with the statutory information request) contravened its obligations under section 135 of the Act as a result of Openreach's failure to provide complete information in response to a statutory information request sent during the BCMR 2019.
Jessica Foster (Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org)