ROCHDALE MP Simon Danczuk has welcomed news that BT Openreach must open up to competition, saying the decision was validated by “years of shoddy performance”.
Earlier this year, thousands of homes and business in Rochdale were cut off for weeks when flood water damaged underground cables and severed phone and internet connections.
BT Openreach, which is solely responsible for maintaining and repairing the UK’s communications infrastructure, was heavily criticised for its slow response to the crisis.
Small business, which were unable to process card payments, were particularly hard hit.
Mr Danczuk raised the issue in Parliament, calling for Openreach to be separated from its owners BT and for the infrastructure network to be opened to other phone and internet providers.
In a ruling announced today Ofcom, the communication watchdog, ruled that Openreach must open up its cable network to allow competition.
Mr Danczuk said: “The shoddy performance by Openreach in the wake of the flooding in Rochdale heaped misery on home and business owners who had already suffered greatly.
“After years of underperformance, I am delighted that Openreach will no longer be able to exploit its monopoly and get away with such poor customer service and dismal broadband speeds.
“It will be small comfort to the businesses in Rochdale who were pushed to the very brink of closure, but this move should go some way to ensure this never happens again.”