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Author Topic: IoD Seeks Solid Switch Off Date for UK Copper Telecoms Network  (Read 470 times)


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Last week the UK Government proposed an industry led “switchover” process to remove the old copper line (broadband and phone) telecoms network as “full fibre” (FTTP/H) is deployed, but it stopped short of setting a full switch-off date. Now the Institute of Directors has called for a solid date, possibly as early as 2025.

Openreach have already said that they want to switch-off and migrate customers from their old copper network gradually, as their new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network is deployed because this will save money and thus make the “full fibre” investment case more attractive. At the same time they’ll also be withdrawing old voice (phone / PSTN) services more generally across their copper network by 2025.

However physically retiring the copper network itself is going to be complex and could raise competition concerns from ISPs that have invested heavily in it (e.g. TalkTalk, Sky Broadband). Consumers may also be asked to pay more for the FTTP line and will need new phone adapters, which won’t be welcomed by everybody.

The situation will be significantly easier in Hull (East Yorkshire), where KCOM has few competitors to worry about and will have already covered the area with FTTP/H by March 2019. We expect KCOM to be the first out of the gate when it comes to the near total withdrawal of their old copper line network.

    Dan Lewis, IoD Senior Advisor for Infrastructure, said:

    “With an ever-changing world of work, business should be looking to enable employees to work flexibly. Unfortunately, firms are paying the price for the neglect of full fibre connectivity. We are jogging while the rest of the world is sprinting. We need a copper switch-off date of 2025 or soon after.

    Where you live should not determine your ability to work, or even start a business, with flexibility. The internet should be creating a more level playing field for businesses regardless of location, but uneven broadband coverage means the opposite is true.”
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 10:23:13 AM by Bowdon »
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