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October 7, 2010

Ofcom decides BT must share fibre with rival ISPs

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by Darren Allan

Ofcom has decided that BT is obliged to share its fibre network with other ISPs.

Rival providers will be able to use BT’s super-fast fibre network infrastructure, such as underground ducts and over-land poles, which have been substantially subsidised by the government in their construction.

The move comes with Ofcom wanting to speed up the deployment of next-gen broadband, hoping to ensure the government’s current target of getting every household in the UK online with at least a bare minimum of a 2Mbps connection by 2015.

BT itself is aiming to get its fibre network extended to cover two-thirds of premises in the UK before 2015 arrives, which it is thought will cost around £2.5 billion.

TalkTalk will apparently be one of the first ISPs to make use of BT‘s fibre, according to a report by the BBC.

Ofcom told the Beeb: “In areas where BT invests in fibre, the remedies will enable other providers to offer competing services, based on BT’s facilities. Elsewhere, access to BT’s ducts and poles should encourage investment by other providers, enabling the provision of super-fast services and increasing competition.”

BT welcomed Ofcom’s decision, and said it had already been providing rival companies with access to its fibre. TalkTalk has been trialling the network for some time now.

Story link: Ofcom decides BT must share fibre with rival ISPs


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2 Comments »
  1. BT has always wanted this - the business case for NGA deployment was formed around wholesale provision…

    Comment by Mark Graham — October 7, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  2. Ofcom’s announcement should be welcomed by small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the UK and offers much more than just an opportunity for the telecoms industry. Better access to fibre broadband is vital in supporting the needs of all British SMEs and super-fast fibre connections are now no longer the preserve of large corporations with hundreds of employees and big budgets. The increased upload and download bandwidth of fibre allows businesses to step up and work in more innovative and creative ways and as an increasing number of SMEs continue to embrace the cloud (our recent research shows that more than half plan to switch their core applications to cloud systems in the next year), fast and reliable internet connections are more important than ever.

    As the UK leans on the private sector to help tackle its debt crisis, the country needs to do all it can to bring greater efficiency and innovation to its businesses. This latest decision by Ofcom is a significant step in improving the landscape for those businesses.

    Comment by Andrew Sumner, Sales and Marketing Director at Easynet Connect — October 11, 2010 @ 11:17 am

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