UK fibre market is fragile and needs action, nexfibre says

UK fibre market is fragile and needs action, nexfibre says

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nexfibre has published a report today arguing that the progress made by the UK’s fibre market is fragile and action is required to protect it.

The inaugural report 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 areas. This includes a stable regulatory environment which continues to attract investment described by nexfibre as “much-needed” 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,” the report states.

A regulatory framework which ensures a consistent and equitable playing field for all operators is also integral.

“Regulators and policymakers must restrain anti-competitive behaviour from the incumbent and put in place a regulatory framework which addresses exclusion of competitors.”

Additionally, a market characterised by sustainable competition rather than “fragmented sub-scale operators” is needed.

The report argues that 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.

Rajiv Datta, CEO of nexfibre said: “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.”

Ofcom’s upcoming Telecoms Access Review (TAR) will assess the market, and 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.

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