Seventy per cent of the British broadband market is being deregulated, where government watchdog Ofcom feels there’s ample competition – four or more firms offering service. However, although the new rules are now in effect, there will be a one-year period to cover those ISP who have contracts with British Telecom to give them a chance to make alternative arrangements.
In a statement, Ofcom said:
"BT will be required to continue to offer supply of wholesale broadband access (namely DataStream and IPStream) to all providers which are currently a customer of BT. These providers will however be able to change supply at any time (subject to any restrictions in their contracts with BT). In addition, they can seek to negotiate continued supply with BT beyond the expiration of the transitional measures, i.e. beyond 12 months’ time."
However, there are still areas of Britain that don’t offer significant competition, and Ofcom said that “where there is less competition and where a company still has significant market power, Ofcom will maintain regulation designed to promote retail competition."
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