Monday, 23 April 2018

Ofcom puts the breaks on Dark Fibre Access plans

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Friday 13 April 18

The UK regulator will revisit the idea of granting Dark Fibre Access as part of its annual review

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has decided not to force through a Dark Fibre Access bill, which would have required Openreach to allow rival internet service providers (ISPs) to gain access to its fibre optic cabling…

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has decided not to force through a Dark Fibre Access bill, which would have required Openreach to allow rival internet service providers (ISPs) to gain access to its fibre optic cabling.  

The move was intended to speed up the roll out of superfast fibre optic broadband services in the UK, and a number of ISPs ae believed to have expressed a strong interest in pursuing the Dark Fibre Access route. However, Ofcom has stopped short of implementing the order, siding with network owners and builders who argue that the move would have suppressed investment in new fibre networks.

In a statement released to the press, Ofcom said that it would look to revisit the decision as part of its annual review.

"We remain of the view that dark fibre can play an important role in promoting competition in leased lines. In particular we believe that dark fibre has an important role where duct and pole access (“DPA”) is not an effective remedy, for example because usage restrictions may prevent DPA being used. We will therefore be considering an enhanced dark fibre as a remedy in our further market review.

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