Britain's telecoms regulator is planning to order BT to give rivals greater access to its Openreach infrastructure in a bid to speed up the launch of high-speed fibre cables.
Now rival companies to BT can access the former monopoly's telegraph poles and underground ducts to lay their own fiber networks to reach residential and small-business customers.
Rivals can now only use Openreach telegraph poles and underground tunnels to lay fibre networks for residential and small-business customers.
The rules already in place, which allow for some access to the network, has mainly focused on homes rather than businesses. To allow them to serve larger businesses with high speed internet of up to 37Mbps. Ofcom will also impose strict fix and installation requirements on Openreach.
Britain's comms regulator reckons more than half of United Kingdom homes now have access to ultrafast broadband (defined as services offering download speeds of at least 300Mbit/s).
Full fibre, or FTTP (fibre to the premise) where there is no 'last mile' of copper to slow speeds down, is now available to 7 percent of United Kingdom properties.
Consumer broadband providers can already use this infrastructure, which it is claimed will reduce the upfront cost of building full fibre networks by half.
"The amount of internet data used by people in the United Kingdom is expanding by around half every year", said Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom Competition Group Director. This is aimed at helping mobile network infrastructure roll-outs and may help to ensure that the ultrafast 5G speeds do move out of the big urban areas as well as supporting alt-nets who need access to backhaul grade fibre.
Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom's competition group director, said: "The amount of internet data used by people in the United Kingdom is expanding by around half every year". The measures are created to support competition and investment certainty in business markets.
It recently set out initial views on how its regulation could evolve to encourage competition and further investment from new alternative networks, Openreach and Virgin Media.
Earlier this year, the regulator announced proposals to regulate the business and residential markets together from 2021 so that providers can offer a "full range" of services using a common network.
"We share Ofcom's desire to improve service across the industry", a spokesperson from Openreach said on Friday, adding that "we recognise that unrestricted access is a natural next step so we had volunteered to get on with that, ahead of Ofcom's original schedule". "We'll consider the range of proposals carefully, and we'll continue to work with Ofcom on developing an environment that encourages greater investment".
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