Ofcom publishes consultation on next steps for transition from copper to fibre network regulation

Ofcom has published a consultation on proposed next steps for transitioning its regulation from Openreach’s copper network to new fibre broadband services, as they are rolled out across the UK.

As part of its review of the wholesale fixed telecoms market, Ofcom has set out proposals to support competitive investment in faster fibre networks. This includes shifting the focus of its regulation from Openreach’s copper network on to fibre services, including shifting the focus of the charge control in exchange areas where Openreach has completed ultrafast rollout.

Ofcom says that it recognises there may be limited circumstances that mean Openreach is unable to connect certain properties in an exchange area, despite best efforts, but would still be able to declare that exchange area as completed. Ofcom says that it will consult on what those circumstances should be, but is proposing to do this after it has published the final decisions from its market review in 2021. This will allow it to consider more detail from the experience of Openreach’s initial fibre rollout work.

The consultation closes on 3 September 2020. To access the consultation, click here.