Voice and Broadband

Broadband infrastructure provides the vital underpinning connectivity over which the UK’s communications run. Access to business-grade broadband is not just a ‘nice to have’; it is the very core enabler for the kind of efficient, flexible and internationally-connected enterprises which policy-makers of all complexions understand represent the future of UK plc. FCS policy is to ensure high-quality infrastructure is available for professional communications providers. It is based around five fundamental principles:

Free and competitive markets:

Campaigning for competition on an exchange by exchange; sub-loop by sub-loop basis and the availability of business-grade broadband infrastructure (which may well mean upload speeds in excess of download speeds).

Transparency of competition:

Questioning whether BT/Openreach should be allowed to create a de-facto monopoly which dictates which cabinets will and will not be fibre-enabled, and what the balance of upload/download speeds will be.

Equivalence of Access:

Pushing for transparent procurement and local competition in the state-subsidised ‘final third / final 5% / final 3%’ fibre roll-out. Building alliances between Communications Providers and local fibre infrastructure specialists to deliver business-friendly solutions to commercial premises. Challenging fibre roll-out figures which conflate the availability of services to consumers with the availability to professional users.

Regulation which recognizes the distinct nature of the business-to-business market place:

Spotlighting the discrepancies between high-speed broadband access at business addresses with that on nearby housing estates. Campaigning for a wider universe of providers and a wider choice of service provision tailored to the needs of e-commerce and business transactions rather than consumer gaming and content downloads.

Industry best practice, where the industry itself sets the appropriate performance/ quality levels:

Working alongside policy-makers, industry and small business lobbying groups to challenge the status-quo consumer-biased product offer. Brokering common approaches to service provision, shared ownership infrastructure models and end-of-life and recycling/reuse obligations.

INCA

Independent Networks Cooperative is opening up new alternatives to state-aided BT broadband.

SEAS

Broadband Stakeholders GroupThe BSG provides a powerful focus for industry concerns about quality and regulation.

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Ofcom Open Consultations

Ofcom is currently seeking views on the following topics: Consultation: Mobile phone repeaters – closing date 28 July...

Government Consultation – New Competition Regime for digital markets

The consultation is available to view on the below link. FCS are going to review and provide further comments in due...

FCS attendance at the NPP & CG Meeting

FCS recently attended the NPP and CG meeting and the below topics were discussed: EECC Switching and Porting -we are...