Openreach pauses launch of broadband discounts after Ofcom delay
THE UK's communication regulator has delayed the conclusion of its investigation into a new Openreach pricing plan.
Openreach confirmed on Friday that it will hold back the launch of the Equinox 2 pricing offer as a result.
The watchdog said its consultation into the new wholesale price plan, for telecom providers such as Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone, closed on March 4.
It had planned to unveil a decision on the consultation by the end of the month but said it will take around two months longer than previously planned.
Ofcom told the market: "To provide certainty and stability for industry, our view is that it would not be appropriate for the offer to launch until we issue our final decision."
It said it has received a number of detailed responses to the consultation, some of which raised "issues which require further assessment".
It comes after a provisional assessment by Ofcom indicated that the plan to offer discounted rates on its fibre broadband products did not raise competition concerns.
An Openreach spokesman said: "Whilst we continue to share Ofcom's initial view that our offer isn't anti-competitive, it's important the regulator has time to consider all the feedback it has received fully and fairly, so our discounted Full Fibre prices won't come into effect on April 1.
"That said, we don't think customers should be forced to pay higher prices because of this delay so, if Ofcom's initial assessment is confirmed in May, we'll ensure our customers benefit from Equinox 2 pricing from April 1.
"Our offer is a response to customers, who want lower prices and long-term certainty to help them switch to faster, more reliable broadband connections.
"It also supports our continued multi-billion-pound investment to upgrade the UK's broadband infrastructure."