UK communications regulator Ofcom said this week that BT should allow rivals access to its newly laid fibre network and supporting infrastructure, promoting increased competition in the superfast broadband sector. Cable carrying rival Virgin Media has jumped all over this one, announcing plans to expand its own fibre network across BT’s footprint.
Virgin has been trialling the use of telegraph poles to help extend its fibre deployment in the UK. The new rules from Ofcom would force BT to allow access to the underground ducts and telegraph poles, giving rivals the opportunity to deploy fibre before BT does and to target areas BT does not intend to deploy fibre in.
Another decision forces BT to give competitors access to dedicated virtual links over fibre (virtual unbundling) to further promote competition.
BT has launched its super-fast broadband product and plans to cover 66 per cent of the UK by 2015 and Virgin Media has rolled out 50Mbps to 49 per cent of households and is due to launch its 100Mbps service soon.