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Ofcom has today announced its review into the UK leased line market. It conducts this review every three years and imposes regulations if concerns arise over the market power’s – in this case BT’s – dominance over the competition. The review lays out a provisional analysis of the leased line market and proposed regulation. In particular, it puts forward the case for BT to open up access to its dark fibre network to a broader range of service providers and end users.

John Mitchell, product management director at network equipment manufacturer, Sorrento Networks, part of The Comtek Group, offers the following comments on the report:

“Encouraging BT to open up access to its dark fibre network – in other words, allowing other companies to provision dark fibre rather than leasing a service from BT – will be a positive step change for the market. While BT will be able to establish an additional revenue stream, the enterprise will be able to better supply and manage dark fibre in a way to complement their business, rather than being constrained by a one-size-fits-all offer from incumbent operators and service providers. The additional competition will increase the availability of bandwidth, improve service and will drive down prices; ultimately securing a competitive advantage for the business.

“Another improvement we can expect to see is around the length of time it takes to provision leased lines. With BT, these installations can sometimes take months; a side effect of its desire to have a very lean supply chain, where stocks of spare parts and less commonly deployed networking equipment are kept to a minimum. By opening up the market, those provisioning the dark fibre can have a closer relationship with equipment manufacturers, and this ensures that lines are installed in a timely manner.

“The future of the digital world and, indeed a growing economy, rests on an effective fibre network. If the UK is to regain its position as the leader in our digitally connected world, we need to ensure customers are getting the best service and price possible. All in all, we hope that Ofcom can work with BT to make this proposal a reality.”

Press contacts for Sorrento Networks, part of The Comtek Group

  • Lindsey Challis and Gemma White, Johnson King
  • Tel: +44 (0) 207 401 7968
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