Monday, 16 July, 2018

Ofcom Publishes New Rules To Deliver Full Fibre Broadband

Ofcom 40mbps table Ofcom Publishes New Rules To Deliver Full Fibre Broadband
Nellie Chapman | 24 February, 2018, 05:26

To prevent BT from stifling new investment by rivals as network competition emerges, BT would also not be allowed to make targeted wholesale price reductions in areas where rivals were starting to build new networks.

The proposals are part of broader measures meant to boost broadband investment in the United Kingdom, including plans to increase current full-fibre penetration in the country from 3 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.

The government has made no secret of the fact that it wants the United Kingdom to have a full fibre network as well as 5G connectivity going forward.

"Ministers need to take charge and ensure the recently created Business Connectivity Forum delivers tangible progress on full-fibre rollout to businesses as a priority, otherwise in five years the United Kingdom may find itself the best place to watch Netflix at home, but the worst place for businesses to take advantage of the 4th industrial revolution with all the productivity benefits that offers".

Gigaclear was also set to reach 150,000 rural properties by 2020, while Hyperoptic was set to cover five million premises with full fibre by 2025.

However, it decided not to regulate the prices of Openreach's fastest wholesale superfast broadband products to incentivise operators to build full-fibre networks.

The plan aims to increase coverage of full fibre in the United Kingdom from 3% today to up to 20% by 2020.

The telco's network division Openreach meanwhile will be required to fix faulty infrastructure and clear blocked tunnels where necessary for providers to access them, and will have to ensure there is space on its telegraph poles for extra fibre cables connecting homes to a competitor's network. At the moment, Virgin Media broadband is the only mainstream provider to offer this service, with speeds of up to 300Mb.

It claimed this could cut the upfront cost of laying fibre cables from £500 per home to £250 straight off the bat, as well as reducing the time needed for digging works to hours, rather than days, in many cases.

The changes are also predicted to cut the time it takes to connect a household to the fibre network, taking just a few few hours rather than the few days it now takes.

Ofcom's move not only protects customers in today's market, but also ensures Openreach and others are encouraged to invest in the full fibre networks of tomorrow.
It also has to complete at least 97 percent of repairs within seven working days.

Ofcom now believes that overlapping fast fibre networks built by BT and its rivals will deliver more innovation and a better deal for consumers.

Ofcom has unveiled proposed new caps on the wholesale prices that Openreach can charge to rivals, leading to BT-owned company to warn revenues and profits would dip in the next three financial years.

But the danger is of course that rural consumers will be left in the broadband slow lane.

In addition Openreach will also be responsible for repairing infrastructure and clearing any blocked tunnels so that they're accessible, and will be restricted in how much it can charge telecoms companies for its basic superfast broadband package.

"Ultrafast speeds will allow people to download entire films, or businesses to share huge files, nearly instantly".

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom's Competition Group Director, said: "Full fibre meets the country's future broadband needs, as demand for data soars".

United Kingdom communications regulator, Ofcom has published a set of measures that aim to increase investment in full fibre broadband networks and lower the upfront building costs.

Ofcom wants the rollout of ultra-fast broadband to go smoothly, so it's gone and published a number of measures created to make it cheaper for internet providers to install the necessary infrastructure.

Main benefit will go to broadband operators including BT.

Dana Tobak, CEO, Hyperoptic has responded to the announcement, saying: 'We welcome the news of Ofcom's draft statement on the Wholesale Local Access market.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Groups reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.