Better value rural broadband predicted

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Communications regulator, Ofcom are predicting cheaper rural broadband by the end of this year following pricing changes imposed on BT.

Ofcom have significantly reduced what BT Wholesale can charge other internet service providers (ISPs) in rural, less densely populated areas.

The price reduction will be 12% below inflation per year and will apply to services provided using BT’s wholesale broadband network.

Ofcom expects these price cuts to generate more competition between consumer ISPs and to lead to cheaper retail prices which will benefit consumers. The changes may also lead to better quality services by enabling ISPs to allocate more bandwidth per customer which could deliver faster broadband services.

Ofcom expects the level of the charge control to incentivise efficient investment by ISPs to roll out their own networks in these areas and enable them to compete with BT Wholesale. It will also incentivise BT Wholesale to upgrade services where it is efficient to do so.