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Ofcom to Let Concept Solutions People Expand UK Fibre Optic Network

Friday, November 8th, 2013 (11:33 am) - Score 742
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The UK telecoms regulator has proposed to grant Code Powers to Concept Solutions People (CSP), which would allow them carry out street works in order to expand the reach of their point-to-point fibre optic network to include new urban locations with a view to the “development and commercialisation of regional open access networks“.

At present CSP, which primarily operates in major cities, has already deployed its fibre network across parts of Newcastle, Oldham, Leeds, Loughborough, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham, Maidstone, West Ham, Stratford, Chiswick, Gillingham, Walsall, Gwent and Bath.

The network is typically used by a variety of organisations and ISPs, such as Ask4, Level 3 Communications and local governments. CSP is also part of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) Connection Voucher (here) scheme, which works to help connect businesses to a superfast broadband service.

Ofcoms Statement on CSP’s Application

Applying and waiting for authorisation of section 50 NRSWA licences is both time consuming and expensive, which causes delays in the delivery of the fibre networks and leads to increased costs for the Applicant’s customers. [CSP] is, therefore, requesting Code powers to prevent it from having to rely on such licences as it progresses its plans to expand its fibre networks.

The Applicant states that the principal reason for its application is to enable it to compete effectively with other providers which already operate under the Code and are, therefore, not subject to the costs and delays associated with making licence applications under section 50 of the NRSWA.

The Applicant believes that this will have the effect of increasing consumer choice in the market. [It should also] speed up [CSP’s] delivery times as it will be able to commence installing its fibre networks without the delay of waiting for licence authorisation, which can take up to 12 weeks.

Ofcom, which felt as if the proposal would have a low impact on the competitive landscape, has provisionally ruled in favour of the request and noted that there was a prospect of it “contributing to the availability throughout the UK of a wider range of electronic communications services“.

Related applications are rarely opposed but the regulator has opened a brief consultation for responses until 9th December 2013. Sadly precise details of CSP’s roll-out plan were not revealed.

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