Opinion Ofcom Fibre Funding

Our CEO, Daren Baythorpe responding to Ofcom’s new, flexible legislative proposal setting out its detailed plans for regulation from April 2021 of the fixed telecoms markets that underpin broadband, mobile and business connections.

“Broadly speaking, today’s announcement from Ofcom on its approach to supercharging investment in broadband networks is positive for altnets such as ITS. It’s really encouraging to see more support for full fibre UK and improved regulatory pricing regimes will inevitably help. However, there are some areas that should be further scrutinised as to their effectiveness and there are inherent risks associated with moving to geographic variation in regulation; not least the burden on dynamic new altnets such as ours, who want to focus as much resource as possible on rolling out fibre, rather than tackling a more complex regulatory environment.

Specific points that need to be raised in response to the consultation include its focus on BT as the solution for rural networks. There are a number of altnets that have demonstrated capability, and made significant inroads to provide gigabit capable connectivity in these hard to reach areas, including ITS – it’s important that natural competition wins out, rather than Ofcom facilitating unnecessary overbuilds.”

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