TalkTalk will cut the cost of fibre broadband if BT is forced to reduce the wholesale cost of its superfast services.
The ISP said at the moment, TalkTalk forks out around £8/month per FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connection it runs to BT, but this will reduce substantially – at least by half – if Ofcom’s plans to cut the wholesale price BT charges.
Ofcom has previously rejected TalkTalk’s accusations of margin squeezing but wants to put price controls on BT to ensure it doesn’t raise wholesale prices to anti-competitive levels in the future.
While Ofcom rejected TalkTalk’s previous assertion that BT was behaving anti-competitively, the telcoms regulator added that BT’s prices were “close to the boundary.”
Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk said: “Not enough people take fast broadband. BT is charging double what it should. We pledge to pass on any price cuts to customers to expand fibre.”
She said customers are deterred from signing up to superfast broadband because of the prices and so this move should help bring more customers on board.
However, BT fought back, saying in a statement: “TalkTalk are after a free ride when it comes to fibre despite having their initial complaint rejected by the UK broadcast regulator Ofcom. BT’s wholesale fibre prices are among the lowest in Europe and TalkTalk have benefited from those to make a profit from fibre.
“The UK would be much better served if TalkTalk invested themselves rather than playing regulatory games to try and keep the UK stuck in the copper slow lane.”
TalkTalk is currently the UK’s fourth biggest ISP by consumer size. Like rivals BT, Sky and Virgin Media, it offers its customers landline calls and digtial TV alongside broadband services.
TalkTalk has been working on improving its TV service, which lets customers add premium channels including all Sky Sports and Sky Movies. Recently, TalkTalk added four more channels – History, Lifetime, Crime + Investigation and H2 – to its digital TV line up.