It looks like BT cannot escape the gaze of telecoms regular, Ofcom. Last week Ofcom announced plans that will force BT to give physical access to their fibre-optic cables, allowing other operators to take direct control of the connections.
BT is already required to offer access to network capacity at regulated prices, allowing other providers to bundle services together for consumers using the BT network, but this is an important step further. If other operators can physically access BTs cables, they can install their own equipment and not just rely on BT.
BT will also need to meet new minimum quality of service performance requirements on their Openreach network. Openreach is the BT division that facilitates connections to their network on behalf of other competing providers.
In my view this really opens the door to managing networks in a way that could really benefit consumers. If companies are allowed to innovate and bring their own technology into the BT fibre-optic network to drive performance up, then surely this can only benefit customers who are consuming more and more data to undertake activities such as surfing and streaming of films?
In any case, if BT is to sell a greater number of bundled services – thanks to the merger with EE – then they would need to have a strong focus on improving their network speed and quality anyway.
This action by Ofcom does show the regulator is working to benefit the end consumer, the person sitting at home trying to stream a movie. Consumers should see better networks and more competition across the market for access to these networks and this can only be a good thing.
What do you think about the actions by Ofcom? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.
Photo by GanMed64 licensed under Creative Commons.