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Author Topic: Ofcom Changes to Boost UK Full Fibre Broadband and Cut FTTC Prices  (Read 269 times)


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The telecoms regulator has today completed several wholesale market reviews, which among other things will force Openreach (BT) to adopt stiffer Quality of Service standards (installations and repairs), open up their cable ducts to rival ISPs and introduce a big price cut on 40Mbps FTTC broadband lines.

Ofcom’s review has largely chosen to leave newer “full fibre” FTTP/H/B and hybrid fibre broadband services alone (i.e. they don’t want to discourage the new services by being too heavy handed with regulation), while Virgin Media aren’t yet deemed to have Significant Market Power (SMP) like Openreach and have also escaped the regulatory hammer.

However the regulator has finalised new charge controls and changes for various other services and, to prevent BT from stifling new investment by rivals as network competition emerges, the operator will not be allowed to make targeted wholesale price reductions in areas where rivals are starting to build new networks.

    Key Decisions (DPA / PIA)

    • Access to BT’s ducts and poles. BT must allow other telecoms providers access to deploy their own networks in BT’s underground ducts and chambers or overhead on its telegraph poles. This network access obligation also requires Openreach to make adjustments to the existing infrastructure, so it is ‘ready for use’ – repairing faulty infrastructure and relieving congested sections where necessary.

    • Enabling greater flexibility in the use of ducts and poles. We are relaxing the current PIA usage restriction to allow ‘mixed usage’: telecoms providers can deploy local access networks offering both broadband and non-broadband services, provided the primary purpose of the network deployment is the delivery of broadband services.

    • Access on equivalent terms to ensure a level playing field. BT is subject to a ‘no undue discrimination’ condition, requiring strict equivalence in respect of all processes and sub-products that contribute to the supply and consumption of duct access, unless BT can demonstrate that a difference is justified. We will support these measures through ongoing monitoring to ensure that they are effective.

    • Access to digital maps to support large-scale network planning. Telecoms providers must be provided with integrated access to digital maps with Openreach’s duct and pole network records, including detailed location information and the extent of spare capacity.

    • Processes to ensure efficient network deployment. BT is required to publish a Reference Offer, setting out how operational processes (e.g. ordering PIA, clearing blocked ducts) will work, together with relevant terms and conditions including service level agreements and guarantees.

    • Pricing to support competitive investment. We are setting a cap on PIA rental charges which results in significant reductions compared to current rental charges. Costs associated with making the existing infrastructure ready for use will be recovered from all users of the infrastructure, up to a limit of £4,750 per kilometre, with other ancillary charges required to be cost-based. We are also placing financial reporting requirements on BT, so that we can monitor the effectiveness of the pricing regulation and the ‘no undue discrimination’ condition, in terms of the recovery of costs between BT’s own use and that of other telecoms providers using duct and pole access.

I guess we're slowly heading in the right direction. Though it's becoming more obvious that Ofcom still has its mind on the old copper wires, despite talking about full fibre. I suspect the full fibre talk isn't coming directly from Ofcom, but rather they are chasing the conversation.
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Re: Ofcom Changes to Boost UK Full Fibre Broadband and Cut FTTC Prices
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 12:23:11 PM »

Disagree. The cheaper the access to Openreach's GEA-FTTC platform gets the worse the incentive for operators to build their own networks becomes. Cheap pricing makes Ofcom look good to the politicians and justifies their massive size and equally massive salary bill. That it appeases two of their big lobby-buddies, Sky and TalkTalk, is clearly not a consideration in any way.