• Vodafone UK (VfUK) gave a lukewarm response to the publication of consultation documents relating to British regulator Ofcom’s Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review

Ofcom releases Wholesales Fixed Telecom Market Review

Ofcom releases Wholesales Fixed Telecom Market Review

Source: Beatriz Perez Moya / Unsplash

Vodafone UK (VfUK) gave a lukewarm response to the publication of consultation documents relating to British regulator Ofcom’s Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review, themed around clearing the way for faster fibre rollout by incumbent BT Group’s Openreach infrastructure unit, and addressing the UK’s laggard status on next‑generation broadband. The OpCo appeared to maintain its traditional combative stance on regulation of BT, framing Ofcom’s proposed “radical” changes in language that implied risk to consumers and competition. One focus of its statement was Ofcom’s plan to permit Openreach to recoup the cost of bringing fibre to “non‑commercial” areas, which VfUK insinuated would see customers in those areas potentially pay more for their fibre services. Ofcom is considering permitting BT to partially recover fibre installation outlay in these areas through copper price rises. The regulator is accepting responses to the consultation report until 1 April 2020. When completed, the Market Review will provide a regulatory framework for the UK’s telecoms sector for 2021–2026, and is likely to have a major bearing on VfUK’s current whole-buy-dominated approach to wireline services and convergence (Vodafonewatch, passim).