From July onwards BT’s network arm Openreach will have to fix most faults within two working days or the company will face fines.
Teams of Openreach engineers will also have to connect new customers within 12 working days and give customers a better idea of when to expect repairs and installations to take place.
BT will also have to report publicly on the performance of its teams so that the effectiveness of these new rules can be measured.
The rules have been introduced after complaints from Sky and TalkTalk. Both
ISPs use BT’s Openreach network to deliver ADSL and FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband services and argued that their customers weren’t getting connected or attended to quickly enough.
BT argued that it where it wasn’t able to deliver against targets in the past, it would compensate the likes of Sky and TalkTalk as per the terms of the Openreach service level agreement.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom still decided to hand down these new rules, even though Openreach said it was already effectively meeting the targets in most cases. From October, Openreach will have to prove it – records of engineers performances will be featured on a new page on BT’s site.
The new rules won’t however require BT to meet these targets in all cases. From July 1, Openreach teams will only have to complete around 70 per cent of repair jobs and connect 55 per cent of new customers within the new time frames to avoid earning fines.
By 2016 the goalposts will shift, and BT’s network division will have to complete 80 per cent of repair and connection jobs within 2 or 12 days.
Ofcom has yet to state how much fines could be, but has said it will consider a number of factors, including any costs and damage done by a late installation or repair, steps taken by BT to avoid missing targets.