Ofcom allows BT to offer discount in wholesale fibre pricing

Ofcom, Britain’s telecoms regulator, said it would allow BT to offer new discounted wholesale fibre pricing to broadband providers as it did not consider the scheme to be anti-competitive.
BT broadbandBT, the country’s largest broadband and mobile operator, wants to offer discounts to its wholesale broadband customers including Sky, Vodafone and TalkTalk in return for moving customers to the national fibre network from copper networks.

The discount plan, called Equinox 2, was opposed by competing network companies such as Virgin Media O2 and new fibre builders known as alt nets.

“Our overriding objective is to bring better broadband to people across the UK, by promoting competitive investment in high-speed networks and making sure there’s a level playing field for all companies,” an Ofcom spokesperson said.

“With this in mind, and based on the evidence available to us, we don’t consider (BT) Openreach’s new pricing discounts to be anti-competitive.”

Ofcom delayed its decision on the plan in March after concerns were raised over BT’s boss saying the company’s fibre network expansion would end in tears for some of its competitors.

The regulator said it needed more time to consider the large number of responses it had received to its consultation.

BT’s Openreach has informed Ofcom that – in response to concerns raised – it plans to make certain commitments regarding its future conduct, including not having any current plans to change its Equinox 2 rental prices and no intention to initiate further changes until at least 31 March 2026.


“Ofcom’s approval of Openreach’s Equinox 2 scheme is not surprising, but we question whether this will really lead to consumer benefit or just prove to be a margin boost to the large retail ISP’s using Openreach’s network,” Tom Williams, CEO and Co-Founder of Lit Fibre, said.

Lit Fibre is one of the fastest-growing ISP providers building full fibre 10Gb capable networks in towns around the UK, currently acquiring 10,000 homes per month into its supply areas. The company offers gigabit speeds up to 18 times faster than the national average.

“Lit Fibre builds its own network and sells services direct to consumers which means we can always provide the best level of service for the best price. Our promise to customers is never to introduce mid-contract price hikes, assuring our customers that they really are getting the best price from the outset,” Tom Williams said.