HomeInsightsOfcom announces proposals to help fuel investment in full-fibre broadband

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Ofcom explains that as demand for internet data accelerates, the UK’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded. Accordingly, the regulator is proposing new, flexible regulation that will help fuel a full-fibre future for the whole of the UK. Ofcom says that the proposals are part of its review of wholesale telecoms used for residential and business services in the UK. This maps out how Ofcom will regulate BT for the period from April 2021 to March 2026.

Ofcom says that its focus on promoting broadband network competition has helped full-fibre coverage increase at its fastest ever rate. Ofcom has already made it cheaper, quicker and easier for BT’s rivals to lay fibre cables by giving them better and cheaper access to Openreach’s underground pipes and telegraph poles.

Ofcom is now proposing to supercharge the strategy with a four-point plan to support competitive investment in fibre networks:

  1. improving the business case for fibre investment;
  2. protecting customers and driving competition;
  • taking rural areas into the fast lane; and
  1. closing the copper network.

Ofcom has also set out how it intends to regulate Openreach’s “leased lines”, which are high-speed connections used by large organisations, which also form the data highways of the UK’s mobile and broadband networks.

The consultation closes on 1 April 2020, and Ofcom says that it will publish its decisions in early 2021 before the current rules expire in April 2021. To read Ofcom’s news release in full and for a link to the proposals, click here.