After the damp squib that was the Digital Britain Interim report it's nice to see Ofcom today turn the dial up to 11...
The country's independent communications and competition regular has announced its plans to begin the rollout of 'super-fast broadband' saying it "marks one of the most fundamental changes to the UK's telecoms networks."
Encouragingly, unlike the horrendous Digital Britain Interim report (which discussed 2Mbit base coverage by 2012!), Ofcom sees 'super-fast broadband' as 40Mbit+ and has outlined key five points to achieve this:
- allow wholesale pricing flexibility to enable returns appropriate to the considerable risks of building new networks, but constrained by the market in the interests of customers;
- ensure that any regulatory pricing allows investors the opportunity to earn a rate of return that genuinely reflects the cost of deployment and the associated level of risk;
- minimise unnecessary inefficiencies in network design and build as a result of regulatory policies, while continuing to protect the consumer interest;
- support the use of new, more flexible wholesale services by BT to offer super-fast services to other service providers and consumers at competitive prices; and
- safeguard the opportunity for further competition based on physical infrastructure, by facilitating fair opportunities for companies to synchronise their investments with BT's deployments, should reasonable demand arise, and encouraging network design that takes future potential competition into account.
Of course the very nature of a fixed line broadband will come increasingly under threat with the arrival of LTE but with both set to wage war over the next few years there is certainty about one winner: us.
Ofcome Full 91 Page Report (PDF Warning)