Revised proposals on regulating the transition from copper to fibre networks

Posted on 15/10/2020

Ofcom has today published revised proposals on how our regulation of Openreach’s copper network should evolve as the company rolls out new fibre broadband services. This is a supplementary consultation to our proposals published in January this year, which are designed to support competition and investment in faster fibre networks while protecting customers.

In January, we proposed shifting the focus of our regulation from copper, to support the migration to fibre services. This included allowing Openreach to stop selling new copper services, and then removing the copper charge control, under certain conditions. However, we proposed maintaining other requirements on Openreach to provide access to its copper services for the period from April 2021 to March 2026. 

Given the speed at which Openreach’s fibre rollout is progressing, we now believe that where there are a limited number of customers remaining on copper services, and there are fibre services available to them, it may be reasonable to withdraw remaining regulations on copper services in some cases before April 2026.

Today’s consultation will close on 26 November, and we intend to publish our final decisions before April as part of our wholesale fixed telecoms market review statement.

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