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Author Topic: Cityfibre Calls on Ofcom to Rethink its Approach for Full Fibre  (Read 485 times)

Bowdon

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Cityfibre Calls on Ofcom to Rethink its Approach for Full Fibre
« on: February 23, 2018, 10:50:48 AM »

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/02/cityfibre-calls-ofcom-rethink-approach-full-fibre.html

Quote
The Head of Regulatory Affairs at Cityfibre, Alex Blowers, has criticised Ofcom’s focus on regulating wholesale access to Openreach’s (BT) legacy UK copper network down to cost and called on them to rethink their strategy in order to better support the new generation of “full fibre” (FTTH/P) ultrafast broadband.

At present the regulator states that one of its primary duties is to “further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition.” In many ways Ofcom has done a good job on this front, not least by encouraging a highly competitive market with lots of affordable broadband packages, most of which are based off Openreach’s old copper network.

Quote
    Alex Blowers, Cityfibre’s Regulatory Boss, said:

    “Increasingly, I’m coming around to the view that the problem lies with that clunky primary duty and specifically, the vagueness of the duty when it comes to a clear focus on securing a first-class national digital infrastructure.

    In short, Ofcom has been successful in delivering (relatively) low priced access for consumers via a mediocre legacy telecoms network, but the cost of this has been a failure to provide the right incentives to the industry to replace that network with something fit for purpose.

    The best way to understand this is to reflect that high prices and crap customer service (the stock-in-trade of incumbent telcos the world over) can be rectified by two methods: you can regulate the hell out of them, specifically by forcing price cuts and imposing ‘quality of service’ obligations, or you can encourage someone else to enter the market to do the job better.”
*Continued quote on site link*

Having read the full quote I think he has some good points, and being the owner of the most active "altnet" his voice needs to be listened to. Ofcom should actually be making it easier for him and others like him to invest in full fibre.

I think it would be interesting if the heads of all the ISP's had a meeting, maybe regulated by Ofcom to thrash out some ideas of the future of network.
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ejs

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Re: Cityfibre Calls on Ofcom to Rethink its Approach for Full Fibre
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 06:56:21 PM »

Quote
Naturally Cityfibre has some vested interest in getting their own way here and Alex doesn’t specifically spell out what his solution would be

I thought it was the usual lot of moaning. If full fibre is so amazing, and copper so rubbish as he claims, why doesn't Cityfibre just get on with building their own full fibre network? It doesn't seem like it should need any encouraging or support from Ofcom.
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Ignitionnet

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Re: Cityfibre Calls on Ofcom to Rethink its Approach for Full Fibre
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 10:23:14 PM »

Err they have been to businesses and indeed are at scale in cooperation with Vodafone? 
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Chrysalis

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Re: Cityfibre Calls on Ofcom to Rethink its Approach for Full Fibre
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2018, 06:34:17 AM »

I think this is the important quote, that summarises quickly.

Quote
Nevertheless Alex suggests that Ofcom is still too stubbornly focused on maintaining low prices and “will not contemplate any course of action that drives short-term price increases for consumers, even if the long-term benefit would be a healthy competitive marketplace with much lower prices.”

He is not entirely accurate tho.

Ofcom doesnt regulate consumer prices, it regulates wholesale pricing from openreach.  As we seen with the line rental scandal, ofcom wont intervene if retail prices skyrocket.

I of course believe openreach should be allowed to increase its pricing so it has more breathing space to spend money.  I also believe we should have openreach selling basic line services directly to consumers, and the isp's should just be selling the broadband and calls.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 06:37:15 AM by Chrysalis »
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Ignitionnet

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Re: Cityfibre Calls on Ofcom to Rethink its Approach for Full Fibre
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 08:54:40 PM »

He's quite accurate. He comments on actions that drive short-term price increases, one of which would obviously be wholesale price regulation. He doesn't claim Ofcom regulate retail prices directly.

He worked for Ofcom before CityFibre.
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