BT Openreach will face fines if they don't meet targets

BT Openreach targets for installing and repairing phone and broadband connections will come into force on July 1.

Ofcom has ruled that if the company does not manage to meet the deadlines set, it will face significant fines as part of the regulator's plans to improve competition in the telecommunications and broadband marketplace.

Openreach must repair 70 per cent of faults within one to two working days of being notified, increasing to 80 per cent by 2016 and it must complete 55 per cent of installations within 12 days, which will also increase to 80 per cent in two years.

The recruitment of a further 1600 engineers will help us to achieve and exceed the standards set for subsequent years

If the installations and repairs are affected by factors beyond Openreach's control, such as adverse weather or the inability to access the site, Ofcom will be a little more lenient.

To meet the new demands, BT Openreach will be recruiting new engineers to help with repairs and installations.

BT said in a statement: "Openreach has already stated its commitment to meet and exceed these service targets. Current performance data shows that Openreach is well on track to meet the targets outlined for this financial year. The recruitment of a further 1600 engineers will help us to achieve and exceed the standards set for subsequent years."

In addition, BT will have to document repair work from October 2013 and produce its own timeline for fixing repairs, ensuring they are sticking to Ofcom's rules.

Other rules implemented by Ofcom in order to promote competition in the market include reducing the wholesale cost of switching phone and broadband supplier to 11 from 50 - a saving which will be passed onto the customer.

BT has had a stranglehold on the TV and broadband market since it started offering its free BT Sport channels to win over customers from rivals Sky and TalkTalk.

The plans to impose fines on BT Openreach should they not meet targets were proposed in December last year, following a large number of complaints to the regulator about slow installations and repairs.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.