UK regulator eyes wholesale data price cuts

UK regulator eyes wholesale data price cuts

The UK telecoms regulator has proposed that BT’s high speed data lines in all parts of country except London and Hull are subject to regulation due to the “significant market power” the telco wields in the sector.

Under the proposal Ofcom has suggested that BT’s very high bandwidth wholesale leaded line services at speeds above 1Gbps are regulated in the market, estimated to be worth £2 billion a year.

Ethernet products up to and including 1Gbps, are proposed to be subject to price reductions at 11% below inflation per year over the next three years, beginning April 1 2013.

BT will be permitted to “rise modestly” its leased lines based on older technology to reflect higher costs in the declining market.

In London, Ofcom proposed that some existing regulation on BT be lightened as the telco faces greater competition from other providers.

Other parts of the proposal include the deregulation of the market for longer-distance leased lines, and to require BT to provide its regulated Ethernet services on the same basis to all retail providers.

The draft measures are designed to promote competition and to ensure the UK has a backbone of high speed business networks.

The statement is subject to consideration by the European Commission. Ofcom said it expects to publish a final statement towards the end of March

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