#Public Sector

Ofcom proposes stricter fault repair, new installation rules for BT Openreach

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Ofcom has proposed a set of stricter rules for BT Openreach requiring the telecom giant to carry out 80 percent of fault repairs within two working days, regardless of the nature of the faults and severe weather conditions.

Ofcom has also proposed that new installations should be complete within 12 working days, which will enable customers to switch providers quickly if they opt to. The new rules are expected to come in full force from April 2016.

Intervention by Ofcom and the new rules are a result of the concerns raised last year questioning the BT’s response times when it came to fault repairs and new installations. Ofcom has said that if BT fails to meet with the performance standards it may impose sanctions on the telecom giant. The telecom regulator has also proposed new prices stating that BT can’t push through ‘significant’ increase.

“The targets are designed to ensure better service for telephone and broadband customers in future while also avoiding any significant effect on prices”, said Ofcom, in a statement.

Other telecom companies including Sky and TalkTalk have welcomed the new set of rules; however, they still claim that they are still far below customer expectations. “While we welcome Ofcom’s action to impose minimum quality standards, we’re concerned that some of its proposals do not match up to customers’ expectations,” said Sky.

BT on the other hand has lambasted Ofcom for the new rules and said that it is disappointed for the fact that “Ofcom wants to extend the unfair regime whereby third parties benefit from cheaper wholesale prices than BT Retail.” BT claims that other telecom providers have been benefiting from “artificially low prices for many years now” and that it was time that they were forced to compete “on a level playing field.”