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Cable.co.uk comments on Ofcom opening up BT's infrastructure for new fibre broadband

  • Propsals set out to ensure easy access to Openreach's underground tunnels and telegraph poles
  • Faulty infrastructure and blocked tunnels must be repaired and cleared for other providers
  • Digital map launched to display an interactive view of Openreach's network

Thursday, 20 April 2017: Ofcom has set out plans to open up BT's broadband infrastructure to make it easier for its rivals to build their own fibre networks.

The communications watchdog is making it easier for broadband providers to access Openreach's network infrastructure, a pre-emptive measure ahead of legally separating Openreach from BT.

Using existing tunnels to install new fibre cables can save time and expense for new providers seeking to expand their network reach.

Commenting on the announcement, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at Ofcom-accredited broadband advice site Cable.co.uk, says:

"While it is unlikely that BT’s primary competitors will want to use Openreach’s poles and ducts to launch their own nationwide networks – the cost of such an undertaking would be gargantuan – improved access does invite greater competition from smaller providers whose goal it is to serve a specific region or locale.

Smaller local providers tend to provide a better service to customers due both to the number of, and proximity to, their customers.

“Whichever way you look at it Ofcom’s move today will further stoke the fires of competition, which in turn will lead to more choice, cheaper broadband deals, and better customer service.”

Notes to editors

In return for using our commentary on UK telecoms issues, we would deeply appreciate a link to https://www.cable.co.uk

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What is Cable?

Cable is a broadband, TV and phone comparator, unique news source and consumer champion.

Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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