The regulator Ofcom has a cunning plan to allow all companies the opportunity to achieve a fair return over their whole investment period. This means that the firms will not have to introduce cost-based prices for fibre services for at least ten years.
The new regulations, which will apply to BT’s national Openreach network until March 2026, allow the company to keep the price it charges operators for entry-level 40 Mbit/s broadband and slower copper packages flat and charge more for regulated products delivered over full fibre instead of copper.
“This approach improves the investment case for BT and its rivals by providing them with a margin to build the new networks”, it said.
Once fibre networks are in place, Ofcom said it would progressively remove regulation on copper so Openreach would not have to maintain two networks.
BT has said it needed the conditions to make a fair return before it gave the go ahead to billions of pounds of investment on fibre broadband.