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Investigation into BT response to Connected Nations data request

18 March 2020


Investigation into British Telecommunications Group plc (BT)
Case opened 18 March 2020

This investigation is examining whether BT has complied with a statutory information request issued by Ofcom in relation to the 2019 Connected Nations report. Specifically, the investigation will consider whether BT’s response to the information request was complete and accurate.

Relevant legal provision(s)

Section 135 of the Communications Act

Ofcom requires communications providers (under section 135 of the Communications Act 2003) to provide complete and accurate information upon request.

On 19 September 2019, Ofcom issued BT with final notice of one such request under section 135 of the Communications Act 2003. This required BT to provide (among other things) data on Fixed Wireless Access network coverage in the UK.

Ofcom used this information in the 2019 Connected Nations report to estimate the number of premises which would be potentially eligible to receive broadband services under the Universal Service Obligation. As a result of receiving new information provided by BT, on 18 March 2020 Ofcom published an updated report containing corrected estimates. Ofcom does not expect this correction to have any impact on the implementation of the Broadband USO.

On 18 March 2020, Ofcom decided to open an investigation into BT’s compliance with this information request. Ofcom’s investigation will examine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that BT has failed to comply with its obligations under section 135, namely whether BT’s response to the information request was complete and accurate.

Case leader

Hugh Durant (email:

Case reference CW/01253/03/20