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Ofcom consults on proposed Openreach FTTP pricing offer

Published: 4 March 2024
Last updated: 4 March 2024

Ofcom is today consulting on a pricing offer for full-fibre broadband that Openreach intends to introduce from 1 April 2023.

Under our rules, Openreach must notify us of certain offers 90 days before they come into effect. This is so we can prevent Openreach from harming competition, by restricting any offers that we find to be anti-competitive.

On 14 December 2022, Openreach notified us of new wholesale pricing arrangements for its full-fibre services, known as the ‘Equinox 2’ offer.

We have carefully assessed Openreach’s offer – taking into account the interests of consumers, as well as the impact on competitors and retail broadband providers.

Our provisional view is that we should not intervene to prevent Openreach from introducing Equinox 2. We consider the offer is not anti-competitive and is consistent with the rules we consulted on before introducing them under our market review in 2021. Maintaining these rules for the period of the review is also important to achieving certainty for all companies looking to invest in broadband networks.

In our provisional view, the proposed offer is consistent with our primary strategic goal of promoting investment in high-speed networks to deliver fast, affordable broadband to people and business across the UK.

We are now inviting responses to our consultation by 5pm on 4 March 2023, before deciding how to proceed. We intend to publish our final decision before the end of March 2023.

We are also alive to the concerns of some market participants that Openreach’s practice of amending its full-fibre prices could act as a barrier to competitors’ entry and expansion in the market.  As this could potentially affect the level playing field we want to see, we are gathering evidence to decide whether we should investigate this matter in more detail.

An Ofcom spokesperson said:
Our overriding objective is to bring faster, better broadband to people across the UK – promoting competition and investment in high-speed networks, and making sure there's a level playing field for all companies.

With this in mind, we’ve assessed Openreach’s proposed new pricing plans and, based on the evidence available to us so far, we don’t consider them to be anti-competitive. We’ve set out our provisional reasons for this and are now seeking views from all interested parties, which we’ll take into account before making a final decision.

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