Cheaper broadband likely, as Ofcom aims to cap BT's charges

Ofcom wants to put a cap on BT's charges to other providers, meaning cheaper broadband no matter who you're with.

Surfing the web could soon become cheaper for all of us, if Ofcom has its way. The regulator has submitted plans to bring tighter limits on broadband prices.

If its plans come off, it would reduce the amount BT can charge to other providers to rent broadband to us consumers, with the savings hopefully being passed on to us. Excellent stuff.

Ofcom has submitted proposals to the European Commission that would mean BT's wholesale division, Openreach, wouldn't be able to charge providers more than £87.41 to rent broadband and phone services to a home in the 2012/3 financial year, The Telegraph reports.

This would be down from the current £91.50 a year, with consumers pocketing the whopping £4.09 saving -- you can buy a whole pint of beer for that in some places in London -- not only on broadband prices, but landlines too. A decision is expected next month.

If the ruling is approved, it'll be "a mild negative for BT", according to analysts at Espirito Santo. But it'll be good news for other operators, as they'll have more control over prices, increasing competition without damaging their margins.

And there's more good news for broadband fans -- Virgin Media has hit 10 million homes with its 100Mbps broadband, it announced today. For the first time, residents in cabled areas such as Bromley, Dundee, North Hawkfield in Somerset, and Staverton in Gloucestershire will get access to the blazingly fast speed of 100Mbps.

Virgin Media says it's ahead of schedule, with the full roll-out being complete by spring -- it was originally due to finish in the summer. Last month it promised to double and triple customers' speeds , though not quadruple them like a few people may have been led to believe . Though it looks as though there's even faster broadband on the way.

While we're on big numbers, BT has also reached 3.5 million Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the UK and Ireland, it announced today.

Do you think we pay too much for our broadband? How do you think our speeds compare to the rest of the world? Let us know on Facebook, or in the comments below.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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