Ofcom Business Connectivity Market Review
As part of their Business Connectivity Market Review (BCMR), Ofcom published a document last Friday detailing its proposals related to competition in the provision of leased lines.
Ofcom are looking at whether BT should grant access to its Dark Fibre network to other ISPs. They also want to consider reducing the Service Level Agreement for leased line installations by Openreach from 46 to 40 days by 2017 (for some reason Ofcom call this Quality of Service). Also Ofcom thinks London is a highly competitive market (which it is) and doesn’t include the Capital in the review.
The news has come as a surprise to many as Ofcom’s previous review of business connectivity (carried out in 2012) which also investigated leased lines rejected the idea of using ‘passive remedies’, including ‘dark fibre’ access.
The proposals are subject to a consultation which will close on 31 July 2015, with Ofcom stating that they expect to publish their final decisions in the first quarter of 2016.
What Ofcom should also be doing in tandem is insisting the government review the whole business rates system for fibre which is stitched up by BT. It’s all very well making BT open up it’s dark fibre estate to competition but BT’s favourable rates deal means that they are almost certainly going to be able to quote the end customer more competitive rates for that same fibre route.
Ofcom also published a press release on the proposals which is available here.
Loads of posts on the subject of fibre rates on this blog here. More specific detail on the subject in the post entitled Fibre Rates Inequity Iniquity. In Valuation Office Parlance the rates are called hereditament btw. Just shows you how archaic the whole system is. The whole system needs reviewing. The problem is that it’s a huge bag of worms. BT may well argue that they pay a fair amount of rates based on their business as a whole but it doesn’t stop the fibre rating system being wrong.
You have until the end of July to get your comments in, at which point there will be nobody in the office at Ofcom to read them.