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Ofcom Propose to Let Sea Fibre Networks Expand UK Fibre Optic Platform

Friday, October 12th, 2012 (12:29 pm) - Score 795

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has today proposed to grant Code Powers to Sea Fibre Networks Limited. The move would allow the firm to carry out street works in Wales and Staffordshire (England) that should improve the country’s existing fibre optic link with Ireland.

At present Sea Fibre already has a multi-fibre cable (CeltixConnect) that runs from Dublin City Centre (Ireland) to Holyhead in Wales, although it now intends to lease dark fibre in both major urban centres and in rural areas to other telecoms operators and to large corporate customers in the United Kingdom.

As a result Sea Fibre has installed two sections of terrestrial duct and fibre network to interconnect with other network connections in Wales and Staffordshire. The CeltixConnect cable is also capable of providing bandwidth services along the route. The problem is that their current licence only allows for limited street works and the firm fears that it would experience “additional costs and delays” without full code powers and this could put them at a competitive disadvantage because they couldn’t “react to meet customer demand in a timely way“.

Ofcoms Statement

[Sea Fibre] notes that its electronic communications network has been installed under street-works licences under section 50 of the New Road and Street Works Act 1991 granted by the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Staffordshire County Council. However, the Applicant has said that the local authorities require the Applicant to obtain Code powers to ensure that the network can be maintained.

In addition, the Applicant considers that obtaining street works licences for all dig operations would be very time consuming and onerous, and that it therefore would not be practical to try and deliver its fibre network service without Code powers. The Applicant has also said that it considers that telecommunications carriers and corporate customers are likely to be deterred from utilising the dark fibre network if it does not have Code powers.

For these reasons, Ofcom considers that it should grant Code powers to the Applicant and that, in doing so, the Applicant would be better placed to deploy and maintain its network.

Ofcom’s consultation, which is unlikely to be opposed because there are very few credible reasons for doing so, is open until 12th November 2012.

Ofcoms Sea Fibre Consultation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/sea-fibre/..

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