Ofcom has said there is a growing agreement that the demand for greater broadband speeds could have a profound effect on UK citizens and the economy. The regulator has published a consultation document on Next Generation Access networks and believes that a clear regulatory regime supporting its growth will be key.
“Next Generation Access offers tremendous new opportunities for UK business and consumers, and its potential impact on the economy is very significant,” said Ofcom CEO Ed Richards. “Investment in Next Generation Access will represent a substantial commercial risk and the market should decide where and when it will be made. We want to ensure there are no barriers to investment and provide a clear regulatory environment which will help encourage investment.”
Current Ofcom policy is to promote competition at all levels within the broadband market and to ensure that operators with market power make their network infrastructure available to competitors on the same basis. It is proposing two new principals that would be specific to next generation access networks. The first is to ensure that regulation reflects the commercial risk associated with the networks deployment. The second is a to keep the regulatory regime in place for sufficient time for investors to have long-term clarity.