Ofcom has told BT to reduce the wholesale price it charges other broadband providers to use its network in less populated areas. But will it actually result in cheaper prices for rural customers?
Before any of us get too excited, it’s worth pointing out that by ‘cheaper’ Ofcom really means putting prices for rural customers in line with what others around the country are paying anyway.
So although Ofcom’s moves are obviously a good thing, it’s about time this unfair situation was tackled head on.
BT has to drop wholesale prices
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has told BT to cut the price it charges other broadband providers to use its network in less populated, rural areas. These locations are known as ‘Market 1’ areas where BT is the only provider of wholesale broadband services.
Ofcom hopes that this will increase competition between broadband providers in these areas and force the actual price consumers pay to go down.
Or, if the internet services providers (ISPs) don’t pass on these saving, it hopes that this will at least enable them to allocate more bandwidth to each customer and improve speeds. Either way, it’s good news for rural customers.
Rural broadband must improve
People who live out in the sticks have generally had to put up with slower services at higher prices from many ISPs. And it just doesn’t feel right that where you live dictates the broadband service you get. An internet connection isn’t a luxury or optional extra these days – for most it’s an essential service.
I definitely appreciate what Ofcom’s trying to do here, but – a word of caution – it relies on ISPs actually passing on any savings/benefits to their customers. I sincerely hope this does happen, but I won’t be holding my breath.
Do you live in a low-populated area and suffer from slow and expensive broadband? Is enough being done to make sure rural customers don’t have to put up with a raw broadband deal?