BT share price: Telco faces new fine over Openreach

High-speed ethernet lines customers suffer delays

BT share price: Telco faces new fine over Openreach

BT Group (LON:BT.A) faces another fine over its Openreach division for service failures in relation to high-speed ethernet lines, The Telegraph has reported. The news comes after the network unit was fined as much as £42 million earlier this year for failing to compensate customers for ethernet delays.

BT’s share price closed marginally lower yesterday, shedding 0.26 percent to 309.05p, largely in line with the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index shedding 18.56 points to close 0.25 percent lower at 7,503.47. The telco’s shares have lost just under 30 percent of their value over the past year, and are down by some 15 percent in the year-to-date.

The Telegraph reported yesterday that industry regulator Ofcom had launched an investigation into BT’s Openreach division after the unit failed to meet its target of installing 97 percent of new lines within 159 working days. Openreach admitted the breach of its minimum service levels and now faces a fine of up to 10 percent of ‘relevant turnover’. A spokesman for the industry watchdog told the newspaper that it had not yet determined the basis of any fine.

“Openreach has made huge strides on ethernet this year, delivering more orders than ever before and dramatically reducing a large backlog of complex, historic jobs,” The Telegraph quoted an Openreach spokesman as saying, adding that the division had “made huge strides on ethernet this year, delivering more orders than ever before and dramatically reducing a large backlog of complex, historic jobs”.

In analyst news, Credit Suisse, which sees BT as a ‘neutral,’ lowered its price target on the stock from 340p to 320p yesterday. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 370.95p.

As of 08:05 BST, Thursday, 18 May, BT Group plc share price is 309.55p.

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