Ofcom to open BT fibre infrastructure to competition

UK regulator Ofcom has said that BT must open its new fibre network to alternative providers to allow competition to develop.

Ofcom has announced two initiatives to enhance competition. The first, known as ‘virtual unbundling’, will give competitors access to a dedicated virtual link over new fibre lines. BT will be able to set prices for these new wholesale products, allowing them to make a fair rate of return on their investments, the regulator said.

BT will also be required to offer access to its underground ducts and to its telegraph poles. This will allow its competitors to roll-out super-fast broadband to areas where BT does not plan to deploy its fibre network and to target specific areas earlier than BT’s rollout, said Ofcom.

Ofcom has confirmed that it will require BT to make available a draft reference offer describing its duct and pole product by mid January 2011.

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