Ofcom kick-starts its wholesale local access market review

Ofcom kick-starts its wholesale local access market review

Today Ofcom is launching three consultations which form a set of proposals for the review of the wholesale local access (WLA) market – covering the services which use a fixed connection between the local telephony exchange and a premise.

Placing the interests of businesses and consumers at the heart of the review, Ofcom’s three consultations cover:

  • Its market analysis, broad approach to remedies, and includes proposals for the access products that BT will be required to provide including charge control proposals
  • Proposals to address quality of service issues on BT’s fixed access network
  • Proposals for ducts and poles access to be published separately

Ofcom’s proposals are designed “to promote competition and investment in full-fibre networks???. Key proposals stand out:

  • Ofcom is tightening quality of service rules for broadband and phone customers, placing stronger obligations on Openreach to repair faults and installation of new lines for customers under tighter deadlines and increased targets.
  • Ofcom is also proposing to cut wholesale prices that Openreach can charge telecoms companies for its superfast broadband service, focusing on packages offering a 40Mbit/s download speed and 10Mbit/s upload speed. Ofcom expects the savings, incurring from prices falls from today’s level of £88.80 per year to £52.77 in 2020/21, to be passed on to residential customers through cheaper retail prices.

The review covers the regulation which may be required from April 2018 to March 2021, and the consultations close on 9 June 2017.