Thursday, 6 November 2008



Super-fast future

Competition and flexibility are essential to the successful roll-out of super-fast broadband across the UK, a conference has been told.

The fibre-based technology is set to revolutionise both home entertainment and communications.

Current headline broadband speeds of around 8 megabits per second (Mbps) could increase to up to 100 Mbps, which would mean faster downloads and give people the ability to talk to friends and relatives via video links.

Moves to speed up broadband are already gathering pace.


Virgin is planning to launch its 50Mbps service, BT is to start trials of fibre-optic technology in London and Wales and technology firm H2O has plans to deploy fibre in sewers in two UK cities.

Speaking at a conference in London today, Ofcom Partner for Strategy and Market Development, Peter Phillips welcomed these moves.

And he underlined that Ofcom would continue to promote competition in today’s broadband market.

Flexible approach

He said this had already led to an increase in existing broadband speeds - thanks to the introduction of ADSL2+ technology and cable products – as well as a large growth in mobile broadband.

Peter said that a flexible approach was also key, particularly where experiments and trials are needed in the development of super-fast broadband.

Pricing is another area where our proposals embrace greater flexibility.

We want the industry to set its own rates of return – a move which we believe will speed up investment in super-fast broadband.

Pricing proposals

Speaking at the Westminster eForum, Peter said: ‘Our proposals on pricing are underpinned by the idea of greater flexibility.

‘This should make the setting of fair rates of return more efficient and transparent.

‘Giving the industry greater control in setting prices does not necessarily lead to excessive charges. We believe indirect constraints should prevent this, but we are open to different views.’

Our latest consultation document into super-fast broadband includes an interactive executive summary where you can leave your comments.

You can also join in the debate on our super-fast broadband blog.

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