British telecoms regulator Ofcom has confirmed that it does not intend to introduce a temporary remedy for Dark Fibre Access (DFA), which would have required BT’s network arm Openreach to provide a restricted form of the service in the leased line (Ethernet) markets until 31 March 2019. In a publication detailing its decision, Ofcom noted that BT is currently subject to a package of temporary regulation in relation to certain Ethernet services, including a charge control. In November 2017 the regulator began consulting on whether it would be appropriate to add a restricted form of dark fibre remedy to this package of temporary measures. Now, however, it has decided that, following input from stakeholders, it will not introduce an obligation on BT to provide dark fibre at and below 1Gbps for the period until March 2019.
Nonetheless, Ofcom said it remains ‘of the view that dark fibre can play an important role in promoting competition in leased lines’, adding: ‘In particular, we believe that dark fibre has an important role where duct and pole access (DPA) is not an effective remedy, for example because usage restrictions may prevent DPA being used. We will therefore be considering an enhanced dark fibre as a remedy in our further market review.’