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Ofcom outlines broadband competition proposals

UK telco BT should provide access to its underground ducts and overhead telegraph poles to rival ISPs in order to encourage competition and the take up of super fast broadband, according to communications regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom has proposed that BT should share physical access to its underground ducts and overhead telegraph poles and allow rivals to invest in their own infrastructure, or to use BT’s. It also said BT should open up its fibre lines to rivals, including BSkyB and TalkTalk. The telco would then be able to set prices for these wholesale products “to enable them to make a fair rate of return,” Ofcom said.

Ofcom also set out for the first time the lowest broadband speed that can be considered ‘super fast’, setting the benchmark at 24Mbps. “The next stage of the evolution of the UK broadband market will be based on new super-fast broadband services that support higher speeds than have been experienced so far by UK consumers. Super-fast broadband services are generally considered to be those that run at over 24Mbps,” Ofcom said.