Ofcom Gives Green Light To BT Over Superfast Broadband Network

Telecommunications watchdog Ofcom has confirmed that it will not prevent BT from developing its super-fast broadband infrastructure at the cost of roughly £1.5 billion.

In the current economic situation, BT had voiced out its concerns about its return on investment and made it clear that it wanted to have a "fair ROI".

Ed Richards, Ofcom's CEO, told the BBC that "[Ofcom] message today is clear: there are no regulatory barriers in the way of investment in super-fast broadband, We want to promote investment but also ensure that there is fair and effective competition for the future."

Up to 20 million homes - 40 percent of UK's households - could be concerned by the development which will see fiber-optic cables deployed to tens of thousands of so-called street cabinets. In the first stage which should last till 2012, speeds of up to 60Mbps will be reached.

BT will also fit 1 million homes with FTTH (Fiber-To-The-Home) which will allow speeds of up 100Mbps. Rival BSkyB has already started testing out fiber optic technology and is expected to introduce speeds of up to 50Mbps sometimes this year.

Virgin Media has alerady started to sell a 50Mbps XXL broadband package for around £35 per month and it was only a matter of time before BT upped the ante to catch up with the competition.

The company is expected to sell access to its network to other Internet Service Providers like Plusnet, something that Virgin Media does not currently offer.

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Our Comments

Good to hear that Ofcom didn't have any major objections to BT's plans to move ahead. This will hasten the roll out of ultra fast broadband and finally reduce the gap between UK and the rest of continental Europe. It is a real shame though that this did not happen well before the recession kicked in.

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