Wednesday, February 13, 2008

European Commission Approves Proposal to De-regulate part of UK Broadband Market

The European Commission approved a proposal from Ofcom, the UK's official telecom regulator, to de-regulate the wholesale broadband market in some parts of the UK, covering around 65% of all UK homes and businesses The proposal, which is based on detailed economic evidence, wouold deregulate local exchanges with four or more actual or potential providers serving areas with more than 10,000 homes and businesses.

This is the first time that a national telecoms regulator in the EU has identified different broadband markets in different geographic areas within a country and proposed lifting regulation in those geographic areas now characterized by effective competition.
The European Commission said Ofcom's proposal represents "a reasonable move towards better targeted regulation, concentrating on those geographic areas where structural competition problems persist. "

The Commission's decision concerns the UK market for wholesale broadband access. Wholesale broadband access (or bitstream access) is, together with access to the local loop (local loop unbundling; LLU), a key input enabling alternative operators to enter the retail market and to offer broadband services to consumers.