The UK has been a leader in telecom reforms. Thus OFCOM’s encouragement of BT to have a de facto separate unit called Openreach to permit non-discriminatory use of the infrastructure caught the attention of many. Now, OFCOM wants to take next logical step and is proposing real structural separation: Openreach to become a distinct company. Openreach should be a legally separate company within BT Group, with its own ‘Articles of Association’. Openreach – and its directors – would be required to make decisions in the interests of all Openreach’s customers, and to promote the success of the company.
The pilot project being implemented by the UK regulator should yield useful learnings for all who want to make better use of spectrum. Ofcom is inviting the industry to take part in the pilot, which is scheduled for the third quarter of 2013. Locations will be chosen once the trial participants are on-board. It also noted that following a successful completion of the programme, “Ofcom anticipates that the technology could be fully rolled out during 2014, enabling the use of white space devices across the country”. Issues to be explored include the interoperation of white space devices, white space databases, and the processes to mitigate against interference to current spectrum users.
Auction design is hot. The Economist reports on 4G auction design in the UK: The government will want to squeeze as much revenue as it can from the sell-off, but it must also preserve competition in a consolidating industry. The recent merger of Orange and T-Mobile has left Britain with four mobile-phone operators: Everything Everywhere (the imperious name for the newly merged company), Vodafone, O2 and Three. That is a healthy number compared with some countries, such as America, where AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA would create what some regard as, in effect, a duopoly. But Three warns that it would struggle in an unrestrained bidding war with its larger rivals for the new spectrum.
The UK regulator, Ofcom, has proposed cuts in interconnection fees (also known as mobile termination rates), the wholesale charges that operators make to connect calls to each others’ networks. It has unveiled plans to cut the rate in stages from 4.3 pence ($0.065) per minute to 0.005 pence per minute by 2015.
In our work, we refer to both the OECD and ITU definitions of broadband. They are quite different, indicating this is not settled science. Now the FCC has entered the fray, asking for comments on interpreting broadband. This is what one online commentator says: Nicely put, but defining and, even more, “interpreting” broadband may be a tough call. The FCC’s Notice certainly doesn’t make it easy.
Some regular readers of LIRNEasia blog would just love this news. Internet service providers (ISPs) in UK have just a few weeks to sign up to a voluntary code on the promotion of broadband speeds or the industry will face mandatory regulation, the communications watchdog has warned. Attempts to set up a voluntary system providing consumers with accurate information were failing, Ofcom’s chief executive Ed Richards told a parliamentary select committee. “This is a near-term issue that needs to be dealt with now and we would like to be able to get the industry to sign up within the next few weeks,” he said. BT, the UK’s largest broadband provider, said it backed the plan.
by Martyn Warwick – 28/4/2006 11:57:47 http://www.telecomtv.com/news.asp?cd_id=6652&url=news.