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#General Tech

BT gets two days to repair Openreach faults as per new Ofcom rules starting July

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Starting July 1, BT Openreach faults will be repaired within two working days of notification as per the new Ofcom rules that were signed off by the European Commission on June 19.

According to the new rules, BT will be required to repair 70 percent of the faults staring July 1 and this will increase to around 80 percent by 2016. Further the new rules also dictate that BT will be required to appoint an engineer for 55 percent of new line installations within 12 working days, which will rise to around 80 percent by 2016.

The communications watchdog wants BT to openly report its performance numbers in the form of quarterly reports on its website starting October at the latest. The primary motive behind this requirement is that the reports will provide “clear, meaningful and transparent information” on how long does it take to repair faults and install new lines.

Further, Ofcom has warned that it will intervene if required and could also impose sanctions on BT including fines if it finds that the telecoms company isn’t achieving targets.

There is a little leeway in targets to accommodate for bad weather conditions – 3 percent for repairs and 1 percent for new installations each year.

Ofcom is also striving to make it cheaper for customers to change their broadband providers. Currently customers have to shell out £50 fee to Openreach if they intend to change their provider. Ofcom is looking to reduce it to £11 enabling providers to offer lower retail startup fees.

Further, users may also benefit from the reduction in duration of wholesale contracts between BT and other providers – 12 months to 1 month – as providers may pass on the benefit to their customers.