Ofcom has proposed controls over the wholesale prices BT can charge for its high-speed businesses lines.
The UK regulator is looking to impose measures that would bring down prices for business customers leasing BT’s Openreach, Global Services, Business and Wholesale services over a three-year period starting in April next year.
Pricing control linked to inflation based on the consumer price index (CPI) would provide “an incentive for BT to make efficiency gains,” Ofcom claimed.
For BT's traditional services offering bandwidths up to 8 Mbit/s, for example, Ofcom has proposed a cap of between 6.25 percent and 14.25 percent, with a central estimate of 12.25 percent.
For BT's Ethernet services with bandwidths up to 1Gbit/s, Ofcom is proposing an overall cap of between 9.75 percent and 17.75 percent, with a central estimate of 13.75 percent.
Ofcom said the controls would help protect buyers of these products, suggesting that the UK incumbent’s “significant market power” put it in a particularly advantageous position.
They would also lead to “significant real-terms price reductions” for customers of the fixed-line market such as businesses, schools, universities and libraries, the regulator claimed.
A BT spokesperson told European Communications that it was “business as usual” for the operator.
In a statement to the press, BT said: “These are proposals for discussion, so we'll be making our views known to Ofcom.
“We believe there should be less regulation in this market, not more, as businesses already have a diverse and growing choice amongst a large number of providers.
“More regulation could discourage future investment in the UK's telecoms infrastructure.”
The measures are subject to a consultation period, which closes on 31 July 2015.
Meanwhile, Ofcom also provided more detail on its proposal that BT provide competitors with “dark fibre” access.
The regulator said the price of dark fibre access should be based on BT's existing 1Gbit/s Ethernet services.