BT announces pricing for duct, pole sharing

17 Jan 2011

BT Group, the UK’s fixed line incumbent, has put forward a pricing structure for allowing rivals to roll out their own fibre-optic networks using its phone line poles and underground ducts. According to Reuters, the move comes in response to regulator Ofcom’s demands for increased competition in the sector, with BT and cable-based rival Virgin Media at present the only two companies with national fibre networks offering super fast broadband services; the regulator in October 2010 unveiled proposals which called for dedicated access to new fibre lines deployed by BT for alternative operators via duct and pole sharing. In response BT has said it will charge GBP0.95 (USD1.51) a metre to rent space in its ducts per year, a price it claims is 15% lower than equivalent charges in other European countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and Germany, while it will cost operators a further GBP21 for a pole attachment. A commercial launch of duct and pole services is expected in mid-2010, after a consultation on the proposals has been held. Commenting on the development, Steve Robertson, chief executive of BT Openreach, the company split off to oversee the management of the incumbent’s infrastructure, said: ‘Today we’re doing what we promised by offering the communications industry yet another way of accessing our network in order to deliver super-fast broadband speeds to homes and businesses.’

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Ofcom