The UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) said that it has drafted a set of new rules aimed at supporting fibre investment by enabling rival companies better access to Openreach’s infrastructure.
The regulator said that firms involved in laying high-speed fibre cables for broadband and mobile networks will benefit from greater access to the telegraph poles and underground tunnels of Openreach under the new rules proposed by it.
Under rules set by Ofcom in 2018, Openreach, which maintains the main broadband network in the UK, is already obligated to allow rival firms to use its telegraph poles and underground ‘ducts’ to lay their own fibre networks.
The rule introduced in 2018 can reduce the upfront cost of building full-fibre networks by nearly half and is available to firms which provide services to residential and small-business customers. The regulator’s draft decision would extend the rule to companies catering to large businesses, and also to firms laying high-speed lines to support broadband and mobile networks.