BSG responds to BIS passive infrastructure sharing discussion paperbsg
BSG has submitted its response to BIS” passive infrastructure sharing discussion paper.
The response draws upon the work of BSG”s Passive Infrastructure Working Group, and discussion with wider stakeholders. The response says:
- Government are right to explore options to support passive infrastructure sharing with utility companies for the deployment of next generation broadband; anything that can be done to remove policy or regulatory barriers to the deployment of next generation broadband should be supported.
- However, this is unlikely to be a panacea for rural deployment of next generation broadband: as with telecoms infrastructure, utility infrastructure has greater capacity in more densely populated areas, and there are further challenges with some types of infrastructure that make them unsuitable for deployment of cables.
- Overhead infrastructure is most likely to be of benefit in getting next generation broadband to rural areas, due to its characteristics over other utility infrastructure: it is more pervasive, and provides greater certainty to investors regarding the capacity for deployment.
- Government activity would be best focused on reforming the regulatory environment for utility companies to allow them to generate a return for sharing their infrastructure. At this time, legislating is unnecessary and unlikely to be helpful.
- Government should also look to support and learn from existing approaches to infrastructure sharing that are being developed; these include Openreach”s development of its PIA reference offer, and other bilateral approaches such as those being developed by Virgin Media and H2O.