08 Jan Eurobites: Ofcom Fans Flames of UK’s Full-Fiber Future | Light Reading
Also in today’s EMEA regional rollout: US applies the Huawei thumbscrews on the UK again; French CEO questions Trump’s motives over Huawei freeze-out; Orange tests 5G drones in Poland.
Openreach’s parent company, BT, says it welcomed “the direction” of Ofcom’s proposals, describing them in a statement as a “significant step forward towards a widely shared ambition to fibre up the whole of the UK.”
But rival fiber player Truespeed isn’t so impressed, saying in a statement: “Ofcom must take account of the work that providers such as Truespeed and others are doing in rural areas and not muddy the playing field by allowing Openreach to waste money on overbuilding projects in these areas.”
CityFibre, another fiber investor financially backed by Goldman Sachs, has similar qualms. CEO Greg Mesch said he welcomed Ofcom’s efforts but would like to see it move “further and faster.”
“While we are encouraged by Ofcom’s recognition of the risks of volume discounts and geographic pricing to damage competition before it can scale … we would like it to be even more proactive in addressing these issues,” he said in a statement. “The government’s 2025 target for national coverage is ambitious and while possible, it is only achievable with bold and affirmative action.”
Even before he replaced Theresa May as UK prime minister, Boris Johnson was promising full-fiber broadband “sprouting in every household” by 2025, which was eight years sooner than a previous government target. Currently full-fiber networks are available to less than 10% of UK properties.
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading
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