Advanced Television

Report calls for fibre policy rethink

June 25, 2024

By Colin Mann

Next generation wholesale network operator nexfibre has published its inaugural report reflecting on the state of the full-fibre market and the steps required to challenge historic monopolistic behaviour, transform access and drive innovation.

nexfibre critically examines past underinvestment, key challenges, and necessary steps for policymakers to promote national scale sustainable competition and the transformation of fibre access across the UK.

This includes advocating for three crucial areas:

  1. A stable regulatory environment which continues to attract the much-needed investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure. The only way the UK can drive momentum beyond the current roll-out is to ensure a sustainable, competitive market long term.
  2. A regulatory framework which ensures a consistent and equitable playing field for all operators. Regulators and policymakers must restrain anti-competitive behaviour from the incumbent and put in place a regulatory framework which addresses exclusion of competitors.
  3. A market characterised by sustainable competition rather than fragmented sub-scale operators. The UK needs national-scale wholesale competition to secure future progress and generate the right conditions to accelerate innovation and development in the full-fibre market.

Ofcom’s upcoming Telecoms Access Review (TAR) will assess the market, the challenges it faces and set-out regulatory frameworks for 2026-31. The decisions made will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the UK’s digital infrastructure, economy and society. Without decisive action, policymakers risk losing the momentum the market has worked so hard to build.

nexfibre is providing high-quality fibre access to millions of households, while also shaping the market itself by fostering sustainable competition and innovation. This will empower people and businesses by accelerating the full-fibre rollout, attract investment that benefits the entire UK economy, and promote innovation by continually exploring and investing in cutting-edge technologies.

Rajiv Datta, Chief Executive Officer of nexfibre, said: “I am delighted to publish nexfibre’s ‘Platform for Progress’ report, reflecting on our first year operating in the market and taking a critical look at what is needed to further unlock the sector’s potential.

“As we have set out today, the market faces a series of challenges. Some of these have been driven by a historic lack of investment and others have been the result of external factors. All of them can be overcome if we create a dynamic market environment conducive to competition and progress.

“I look forward to working with industry partners and policymakers as we move towards delivering digital infrastructure that is fit for the future.”





Categories: Articles, Broadband, Business, FTTH, Markets, Policy, Regulation, Research, Telco

Tags: ,