Ofcom is now free to implement the new regulations, following EC approval

Europe’s highest regulatory body, The European Commission, has backed Ofcom’s plans to regulate wholesale access to BT Openreach’s broadband network. 

"The Commission particularly approves of the intention of Ofcom to make it more attractive for alternative operators to use Openreach’s physical infrastructure, such as through improved and cheaper access to ducts, which should help rolling out their own optical fibre networks," read a statement from the European Commission.

The European Commission is committed to ensuring that Europe’s telecoms markets remain highly competitive for consumers. It has come under attack in recent months from network operators who accuse it of not doing enough to ensure healthy margins for operators. This approval will be met with enthusiasm by most network providers, with the obvious exception of Openreach. 

Initially, Ofcom had proposed reducing the wholesale price that Openreach can charge network operators to access its basic, 40Mbps superfast broadband service, to £11.23. However, it has since increased that figure to £11.92.  

Ofcom argues that by forcing Openreach to grant network operators access to its existing infrastructure, the UK can dramatically increase the availability of superfast broadband services for its citizens.