Ofcom mandates BT open up fiber network to competitors

Ofcom has issued a new ruling that requires BT (NYSE: BT) to give competitive providers such as TalkTalk and Sky access to its newly built last mile Fiber to the X infrastructure.

Along with providing access to its fiber network infrastructure, Ofcom will require BT to offer competitive access to its physical network infrastructure, including its underground cable ducts and telephone poles so they can build their own last mile fiber networks.

Although BT will be able to set pricing for access to its network facilities, Ofcom said that "prices will be constrained by the highly competitive wider broadband market and will be subject to rules to prevent anti-competitive pricing."

Interestingly, the Ofcom ruling comes just as UK competitive ISP TalkTalk signs up as a wholesale customer on BT's Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) network where it will be able to offer its subscribers an up to 40 Mbps service. While TalkTalk said in a BBC article that the regulations are a good step, they believe there's still "room to improve."

Other competitive providers such as Virgin, which failed to strike a deal to gain access to BT's network infrastructure earlier this year for its own FTTX play, also heralded the new regulations. "This is an important step that rightly focuses on opening up areas of the country not already served by super-fast broadband, removing one of the hurdles that make such developments near impossible at present," the company said in a statement.

For more:
- see this BBC story
- see the Ofcom release
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
TalkTalk ramps up LLU coverage
Carphone puts demerger details on the table
U.K.'s TalkTalk gets high on fiber-based broadband
BT is fulfilling its Fiber to the X dreams
BT Retail gives broadband bundle customers free fiber service upgrade

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