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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

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What is Cable.co.uk?

Cable.co.uk 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. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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