February 14, 2016
It appears that deregulation may be the next important subject in the areas of the UK where competition has meant the old serving BT has lost much of its dominance.
To this point, excluding the comments in the Reuters UK article, there is little substantiated information regarding what the interested parties anticipate may happen next. Ofcom has greeted the news and appears positioned to begin a public consultation on the subject.
EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding at a EU Parliament hearing stated “They deregulate part of the UK broadband market in places where there is competition and only regulate where regulation is necessary, where there are bottlenecks. This is a resolution which will not only permit Great Britain to drop a very big element of its regulation on the broadband market, but will furthermore grant the rules under which this can come about in other member states”
What the consequences would be of taking away a majority of rules and obligations from we deduce chiefly BT are difficult to predict, it could see the two tier pricing becoming more distinct and a conclusion to the single price across the UK to the consumer for BT Wholesale based products. On the contrary it may permit BT and competitors to seriously start on rolling out fibre into the last mile with with a reduction of consideration of the wishes of its competitors. There is even an slight chance that a new competitor to the UK Telecoms arena may identify an opportunity to fashion its own fibre local loop to compete with the BT metallic and Virgin Media fibre/co-ax hybrid.
Ofcom stated “Ofcom proposes to tailor regulation in these sub-national markets according to the level of competition in each. The area covered by this proposed deregulation accounts for approximately 65 percent of UK premises”
Ofcom published an assessment of the wholesale broadband markets in November 2015 which classified the key sectors of the market in the UK, it appears probable that the deregulation would apply to the “Market 3″ area where four or more principal operators are operating or expected to operate.