September 23, 2008
UK communications regulator Ofcom published proposals on Tuesday, encouraging further investment in super fast broadband for UK homes and businesses.
Ofcom said that next generation broadband networks, based on fibre rather than copper, will be required to meet demand for high definition content and take consumer access speeds up from around 8Mbps to around 100Mbps.
The move follows a consultation by the European Commission last week, calling for fixed line operators to allow rivals easier access to their next generation fibre networks, in a bid to stimulate competition and adoption of next generation services.
Ofcom’s own proposals are “designed to remove barriers to investment and ensure competition and consumer choice in the super-fast broadband market”. At the same time, the regulator wants to ensure that measures are in place to protect consumers to ensure continued availability of services and a seamless move from copper to fibre networks.
To achieve its aims, Ofcom is consulting on developing standards for wholesale products; allowing pricing freedom where there is effective competition; and examining the scope for competition based on access to existing telecoms infrastructure, building on the success of local loop unbundling.
As part of the process, Ofcom is already encouraging developers to include fibre technology in new build developments such as Wembley Park in London, Ebbsfleet in Kent, Titanic Quarter in Belfast and MediaCityUK in Salford, Manchester.
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