Advantage anyone not using Openreach?

There is a village where a friend of mine provides the villagers with broadband via WiFi, if they want.

In theory he competes with me. I (as AAISP) could provide them with broadband (internet access) via their phone lines.

We work on a pretty level playing field here - he has costs and so do I. To be honest it is a nuisance that my services "requires a phone line" to work and his does not. That is a disadvantage to start with. Thankfully they all have a phone line, phew.

Some of them do not need to make any calls on that line, or few calls, or won't need to once they have internet and VoIP systems. So they are prefect candidates for OFCOM's latest idea, a cheap phone line for people that only want a phone line only. Reduced to only £11.99 a month and no call packages, instead of £18.99 a month.

If they buy from my friend for their broadband, they can continue with that £11.99 package from BT and the reliability of that hard wired phone line for incoming calls and emergencies.

If they buy from me (as AAISP) they will now be stung by a price hike from BT to £18.99 with a call package they do not need. The "line only" package will not be allowed. It is allowed for my friend to offer broadband via WiFi, but not for me.

That did not used to be the case!

Suddenly, due to an OFCOM ruling, the "access to an Openreach metallic path" for broadband now has an extra cost. An extra £7/month.

I think we pay our way - we pay to access those wires, and a fair price. So why are we penalised by this. Please OFCOM, explain the logic of this change.

Why does access using Openreach now come with an extra £7/month catch - a cost my potential customer will have to pay that was not there before? Of course I say that but one company using Openreach is immune, and that is BT Retail themselves as they can choose to make a line+broadband bundle.

TBH, I am shocked that Openreach (as a logically separate part of BT) is not up in arms over this. They should be, as they will lose business over it. There is now a £7/month advantage to anyone not using Openreach wires to offer internet access!


  1. Does your friend get his leased line into his local data centre (back of the village hall, top of the church tower, wherever) from AAISP ? That would be ironic.

    1. Ironically (and I presume it is not actually me you were referring to here!) I do run a WISP, and I do take some of my transit via an AAISP-provided EoFTTC circuit. But I do agree with revk here - it is total madness that BT is able to 'fine' customers who want another ISP's broadband on a BT provided line. However, there are providers who offer a PSTN line for £10 + VAT per month with no calling packages. On a monthly rolling contract. You just need to find them ;-)

  2. As an AAISP customer likely to be affected by this, I'd be very interested to know the official OFCOM explanation for this significant increase.

    1. It may be worth clarifying, the £7 increase is the difference between the line only BT tariff, and the next tariff that is allowed when you also have someone else's broadband. That higher price is the "current" price, as the new £7 lower line only price only comes in next April. If you use a BT line for line only now, you would be missing out on saving £7 by going to the line only tariff in April, so in that regard it is logically an increase of what you could have been paying.

    2. Ah, I'd misunderstood. Thanks for the clarification.


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