BT has been hit with a £42m fine from telecoms regulator Ofcom and has set aside £300m to repay providers for delays in installing high-speed lines. Ofcom said the fine was the largest it had ever handed down. It found BT’s Openreach division had cut compensation payments to telecoms providers for delays in installing the lines between early 2013 and late 2014. Openreach chief executive Clive Selley said the firm “apologised wholeheartedly” for the mistakes. The investigation found BT had broken rules put in place to counter its “significant market power” by cutting the payments.
Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s investigations director, said: “These high-speed lines are a vital part of this country’s digital backbone.
“We found BT broke our rules by failing to pay other telecoms companies proper compensation when these services were not provided on time.
“The size of our fine reflects how important these rules are to protect competition and, ultimately, consumers and businesses.”