TalkTalk "excited" by dark fibre opportunity after CMA ruling
12 April 2017 | James Pearce
TalkTalk has said it is “excited” by the opportunity of offering dark fibre services using Openreach’s infrastructure after a Competition and Markets Authority ruling over access charges.
The broadband provider has said it will go ahead with its plans after the CMA ruled that BT needs to adjust its prices for access to dark fibre, following an appeal from TalkTalk.
UK regulator Ofcom ordered BT to give its rivals access to Openreach’s dark fibre network in 2015. But TalkTalk claimed the way the infrastructure division, which is to become a legally separate entity from BT, calculates dark fibre access prices did not consider government rate rules.
In its ruling, the CMA agreed with TalkTalk, meaning Ofcom will be forced to recalculate the rates, which could lead to cheaper access for BT’s rivals.
Richard Thompson, TalkTalk Business commercial director, said: ““We are pleased that the CMA has recognised that BT’s wholesale dark fibre price needs to be adjusted to ensure that it becomes the cost-effective alternative it was originally intended to be.
“Whilst there is still much to be agreed, we are very excited about the opportunities dark fibre will bring to increasingly data-hungry businesses, and we’re looking forward to being able to unveil our plans for giving our customers access to the great value, high performance connectivity they’re crying out for.”
The move could shake-up the UK wholesale market as it will give providers that have traditionally been reliant on buying wholesale connectivity directly from BT an alternative. The ruling could also make these costs more competitive once the dark fibre access goes live in October.
BT has always argued against the regulation of dark fibre, claiming it could hamper network investment.
“Given the UK already has a vibrant business connectivity market with a large, diverse and growing choice of providers, we believe this is a flawed piece of regulation that won’t encourage investment in new networks,” BT said earlier in the process.