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Ofcom Survey Examines Future Broadband Infrastructure

Posted: 16th Apr, 2008 By: MarkJ
Ofcom has today published proposals to promote next generation broadband networks for new housing and office developments. It also announced a survey of UK infrastructure to examine the scope for extending these networks elsewhere.

The regulator is seeking to encourage competition and investment in super-fast broadband capable of delivering speeds 'up to' 100Mbps. The proposals themselves are designed to:

  • provide regulatory clarity and equal treatment of communications providers whilst ensuring flexibility during roll-out of new fibre-based products;

  • encourage investment by standardising wholesale telecoms products to make the deployment of fibre-based products attractive to property developers; and

  • ensure that appropriate consumer protection measures are in place for properties with these new networks - such as uninterrupted battery back-up to guarantee access to emergency calls in the event of a power failure.

Meanwhile Ofcom's survey will look at the UK’s existing underground telecoms infrastructure and the potential for its use in a fibre (FTTx) broadband roll-out:

Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Ed Richards, said: “Super-fast broadband is ripe for deployment in new build areas. We need to take advantage of this and encourage investment in networks, while promoting competition. This will allow consumers to benefit from all the advantages of super-fast access speeds, competitive provision and choice.”

It is estimated that around 246,000 new residential and business premises are being built each year. A number of new build developments are already being fitted with fibre-based networks, including Ebbsfleet in Kent. The consultation, which closes on 25th June 2008, can be found at:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/newbuild/
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