HomeInsightsOfcom announces Narrowband Market Review 2017

Ofcom has announced a consultation on the proposed markets, market power determinations and remedies for wholesale call termination, wholesale call origination and wholesale narrowband access markets.

The Narrowband Market Review 2017 covers five wholesale markets that underpin the delivery of retail fixed voice telephone services in the UK. Ofcom says that the outcomes from the review are designed to promote competition and further the interests of residential and business customers.

Ofcom is reviewing three access markets: wholesale fixed analogue exchange lines (the standard fixed lines used by residential and business customers) and two markets that enable the delivery of digital telephone services to businesses to support applications such as call centre operations. The two digital exchange line markets are ISDN30 and ISDN2. In addition, Ofcom is reviewing wholesale call origination, a complementary service to the provision of analogue and digital exchange lines, which enables end customers to make calls over those lines.

The review also covers wholesale call termination, i.e. the connection service provided by fixed telecoms providers when their customer receives a call. If customers call a UK geographic number (a number starting 01 or 02), their provider pays the terminating provider a wholesale charge, i.e. a fixed termination rate.

This consultation considers the level of competition in each of these five wholesale markets. Where competition is not working effectively, Ofcom proposes regulation that should apply for the period 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2020.

Ofcom says that it will take all responses to this consultation into account before reaching any final conclusions, which it plans to publish in a statement in September 2017. To access the consultation, click here.