BT to open up cable network
Regulator Ofcom has given BT the news it didn't want - they now have to open up their cable network, which means their rivals can now connect everyone to the internet, without having to go through BT first.
That's not all Ofcom have been saying - they also think that good, affordable broadband should be a universal right, and that this isn't the case, noting that there's a 'digital divide' between those who have it, and those that don't.
The report, called Making Communications Work for Everyone, says: "We will work with the UK Government to make decent, affordable broadband a universal right for every home and small business in the UK. The universal right should start off at 10Mbits per second for everyone, and then rise in line with customer demand over time."
Now, the regulator didn't go whole hog, and say that BT needed to be broken up, but it hasn't been ruled out yet. Of course, the competition say that this definitely needs to happen, wanting to see BT and Openreach split up completely.
The situation now, is that BT will have to give easier access to rival companies, so they can put their own fibre cables in. BT have got a lot of underground cable passages and telegraph poles, that everyone can use now. As for the upkeep of this infrastructure, Ofcom are going to get tough, saying that repairs and installation is going to have some stricter rules imposed on them.
They say that Openreach needs to be kept at arm's length from BT, and that Openreach needs to be more independent, looking after its own budgets and whatnot. Sounds like the regulator is keeping an eye on it all, and if the two can't operate separately, then they'll be forcibly removed from each other, like naughty kids in class.
The Chief Executive of Ofcom, Sharon White says: "Openreach does need major reform and the key thing is that it's independent so that it responds to all its customers, not just BT."
"If we cannot get the responsiveness to customers that we're seeking, then ... we reserve the right, formally, to separate [BT and Openreach]."