BSG comments on Ofcom NGA consultationbsg
The Broadband Stakeholder Group described the publication today of Ofcom’s consultation on the future of broadband as a key milestone in a debate that will shape the UK’s communications infrastructure for decades to come. “This consultation will be as important for the future of broadcasters and new media companies as it is for BT and other communications providers,” said Antony Walker, Chief Executive of the BSG.
The BSG is pleased that Ofcom agrees with its view that the potential impact of these new networks on the UK economy could be very significant. In general Ofcom’s consultation document supports the analysis of the BSG in its Pipe Dreams report published in April this year. Key comments the BSG would like to make regarding the consultation launched today include:
- We agree that the commercial, geographical and political drivers that are leading to early investment in next generation access in other countries are absent in this country. Consequently, next generation broadband deployment in the UK is likely to lag behind other countries.
- Ofcom’s current focus should be on creating regulatory certainty that will enable efficient and timely investment in next generation broadband access.
- Competition has been critical to the success of first generation broadband services. We agree that that the future regulatory framework should continue to be based on the principle of equivalence – this has been proven to work well in the UK and has helped create a vibrant and flourishing first generation broadband market. We do not believe that regulatory forbearance (the approach being taken in Germany to incentivise NGA deployment) would be appropriate in the UK.
- However, there may be a need in the future for Ofcom to take more interventionist measures if evidence emerges that the UK economy could suffer from delayed deployment of NGA.
- With this in mind, the BSG will work closely with government and Ofcom to understand the economic and social value of next generation broadband and to monitor developments in international markets.
The BSG will respond to the consultation and encourages all organisations involved in the knowledge economy to do so too.