BT is set to face legal action after it fined UK regulator OfCom $ 6.3 million for violating the rules on a public services tender agreement in Northern Ireland.
Ofcom’s approval is based on a complaint about BT from Air.
Ofcom BT was fined $ 6.3 million by the Network Division for failing to provide similar information to BT’s own bid team during a tender for a public sector telecom contract.
BT law requires that all wholesale consumers in the UK be treated equally.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, BT and Eer are bidding for the ‘Northern Ireland Public Sector Shared Network’ (NIPSSN) contract.
Ofcom is expected to provide shared data transfer services and calls to more than 150 public sector entities across 2,000 sites, including schools, police and government departments, local councils and other public institutions in Northern Ireland.
BT won the contract, but in the process blocked important information from rival bidder Air.
“One of the solutions that bidders can use for contracts is BT’s Fiber to the Premises on Demand (FOD) product,” Ofcom said. “During the tender process, we found that BT’s network arm violated our rules, and failed to provide the same information about this FOD product – as BT’s’ bid team did, including the suitability and cost of providing relevant services.”
‘FOD’ is not a suitable solution for its bid and it has delivery limitations, BT’s network division sent a message to Ire, Ofcom said. “In contrast, the BT bid team was provided with information that suggested that FOD was suitable for major multi-site network upgrade projects and could be distributed on such a scale. It does not provide similar information about the price and price of the FOD product. It did not provide some information to Air on the same time scales and through the same processes done for BT. ”
However, Ofcom said it did not believe the violations were “intentional.” The $ 6.3 million fine is 30 percent less than it was before, and Offreach & BT’s cooperation to take into account BT’s agreement to accept and settle the full liability of Offcom’s investigation.
However, follow-up is considered.
“We firmly believe that if BT had complied with its regulatory obligations, we would have retained the NIPSSSN Agreement,” said Philip O’Mira, Regional Director, Ear Business Northern Ireland.
“We are considering our options in light of today’s decision and the entry of BT liability.”