Ofcom green lights super-fast broadband

UK Media regulator Ofcom has ruled that it will present “no regulatory barriers” to the development of super-fast broadband infrastructure. The ruling will allow BT to proceed with an investment of £1.5 billion (E1.67bn) in the network, giving up to 20 million UK homes access to high-speed Internet.

BT made clear it only wanted to make the move if regulator Ofcom allowed a fair return on that investment, ie it wouldn't be forced to grant unfettered access to competitors and would control wholesale prices. Ofcom said “Our message is clear: there are no regulatory barriers in the way of investment in super-fast broadband. We want to promote investment but also ensure that there is fair and effective competition for the future.”

The network would see the installation of fibre-optic cables to street-side cabinets, offering speeds of between 40 and 60Mbps, with about 1 million homes having fibre to the home and speeds of 100Mbps.

In a statement, Ofcom said that “Recent announcements of investment and planned investment, including Virgin Media’s launch of a 50Mbps service, are very positive for consumers. Consumers will benefit even more from increased choice and wider availability

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