Ofcom proposes new measures for regulation of leased lines
Ofcom has launched a new consultation on the regulation of leased lines.
The proposals aim to meet increasing demand for fast data services from UK businesses, mobile operators, internet providers and consumers. The Business Connectivity Market Review looks at the £2 billion wholesale market for leased lines used by businesses and mobile and broadband operators to transfer data on their networks.
The regulator says there have been changes in the market since the last review was carried out in 2008, such as a fall in demand for legacy leased lines and more call for faster and cheaper Ethernet lines. It is now seeking fresh input on proposals to keep or extend some of the regulation on BT but to roll back some of the rules affecting the London area.
There are a wider range of providers other than BT in London and the city has a strong fibre infrastructure which extends further than previously thought. For this reason, Ofcom has now been able to propose extending the deregulated area for legacy high-speed networks further towards Heathrow.
The measures outlined in the consultation are designed to ensure that fibre networks can handle growing demand for bandwidth from applications such as video, streaming, apps and cloud computing services.
Ofcom says the aim of the measures proposed in the consultation is to “sustain competition and ensure the UK has a backbone of high speed business networks capable of supporting not only companies, but also consumer services that ultimately rely on these networks, such as superfast broadband and mobile video streaming.”
A statement from Ofcom, released when the consultation was launched, said, “Ofcom’s consultation seeks to encourage competition in the business connectivity market, and identify how best to sustain critical fibre networks between businesses – which also support a growing number of consumer services.”