Oftel forces BT's hand over service levels

We'll believe it when we see it...

We'll believe it when we see it...

Oftel has reiterated the service level agreements (SLAs) BT must offer to other operators to unbundle its local exchanges and the penalties it will pay if it fails to meet them. Operators had complained that although the regulator had already outlined SLAs to BT, the levels the telco had offered were totally inadequate. Oftel said the operators' accusations were justified and has now proposed a significant redraft of the previous contract. The news marks the first time that Oftel has formally intervened to determine SLAs and BT will be obliged to amend its existing contract, subject to a period of consultation. Oftel also proposed that BT should pay £10 for each working day an unbundled loop is unavailable and £80 per operator for each day's delay in providing co-location facilities. Dave Edmonds, director general of Oftel, said the unbundling of the local loop was a "complex and detailed process" and that the role of the regulator was to ensure that "unwarranted barriers to competition" were removed. He added that the proposed service levels would achieve this end and claimed operators could now guarantee delivery for timescales and fault repair. Edmonds said BT must have an automated system for ordering local loops up and running by its planned date of 5 November The deadline for responses to the consultation process is 20 September.