FCS opposes the creation of any de-facto monopoly in fibre infrastructure.
FCS believes the only value in the unambitious 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation is to create new competitive market models, based on affordable and guaranteed wholesale access to backhaul.
Broadband is only part of an integrated and converging communications market. A resilient and sustainable future must be based on infrastructure-as-utility: fibre, copper, radio and mobile infrastructure, cabinets and mast sites must be operated by organisations which have no commercial link to the retail/ resale businesses which use the capacity they provide.
Britain’s long-term broadband needs will be best served by a ‘fat pipe’ approach to fibre infrastructure: the cost of way-leaves and civil engineering when laying fibre cables is an order of magnitude greater than the cost of the fibre itself. If the work to date had been undertaken by a pure utility operator, that organization would already have made the calculation that its long-term interests would be best served by installing significantly more fibre on day-one than is warranted by current demand, in anticipation of the growing needs of tomorrow
Technology mandates by the government hamstring innovation and increase consumer costs. All developments should be driven on a technology-agnostic best-value basis.
Competition should be encouraged, infrastructure protected and cost-of-entry to the market reduced by encouraging structural separation between infrastructure and resale operations in all technologies.