UK Internet Watchdog Forces ISP to Open up Its NetworkAdded: Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
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Ofcom, the UK Internet regulator, suggested BT to allow rival mobile operators and Internet companies to install their own equipment on its fiber-optic cables. Ofcom explains that such changes may be introduced in 2 years and can lead to more competitive prices for Internet users.
In other words, Ofcom is going to overhaul access to the cable leased by businesses and various public bodies. In addition, the regulator also wants to open up lines used by broadband retailers to deliver web traffic over their own core networks. It estimated the market for leased lines in the United Kingdom at £2bn at the wholesale level, and BT controls 2/3 of it.
The Internet regulator believes that this move can prompt a business boom online – it was already observed in home broadband after UK operators were allowed to install their own equipment in BT exchanges. In response, BT claimed that such proposals could undermine investment in its network. Indeed, BT shares fell after Ofcom announced its plans. Nevertheless, the broadband provider welcomed the suggestion that the move wouldn’t cover lines inside London, where there are too many competitors. The Internet watchdog has also suggested removing existing controls over BT’s London cables, without any obligation to provide new access to its network to other online companies.
In this way, BT’s competitors would get physical access to the company’s fiber-optic cables under the concept dubbed “dark fiber”, because the cables would be “lit” by the competitor installing its own equipment at either end of the cable. Major ISPs in the country, including TalkTalk and Vodafone, have been lobbying for the change, saying they would be able to cut prices for their clients, reduce the time clients wait for a new line to be installed, and diversify pricing and connection speeds.
Ofcom confirms that its goal is to reduce the time that clients wait for new lines to be installed over BT cables – today this average time is 46 working days. The Internet watchdog is going to set the new rule to require the BT division responsible for building and maintaining its networks to cut this time to 40 working days. In response, BT warned against using “dark fiber” to favor a few companies to the disadvantage of all other firms.Posted by: Date:
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015No comments
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