UK Super-Fast Broadband Plans Issued By Ofcom

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UK Super-Fast Broadband Plans Issued By Ofcom

Ofcom, the UK’s independent regulator and competition authority for the UK telecommunications industry has issued new proposals for delivering super-fast broadband in the UK.

The proposals which form their consultation paper – ‘Setting the right policy framework’, include ensuring competition and consumer choice in the super-fast broadband market together with removing barriers to investment.

Super-fast broadband, or next generation broadband involves using fibre optic cables rather than copper wires in order to deliver speeds of up to 100mbps.

The cost of installing fibre optic cable to every home in the UK has proved a sticking point though, with estimates ranging between £5bn and £28.8bn. This has led to questions over who will pay and whether the ISP’s can recoup their investment – all of which has caused a delay in actual implementation.

Ofcom’s latest proposals seek to address this and it looks like providers like BT and Virgin Media will be able to recoup their investment. This will be achieved by making it compulsory for consumers to switch to the new fibre optic cable network by turning off the old copper network.
Much like the current switch to digital TV, there will be a period of time where both copper and fibre optic broadband will run side by side as areas slowly migrate to the new network.

The commencement of the migration in urban areas could be as soon as 2 years time, though rural commercial roll out could prove a sticking point unless the Government agree to subsidies the broadband providers.

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