|Oftel Press Centre Press Release Archive 2000|
|Oftel PUBLISHES CONSULTATION DOCUMENT ON ALLOCATION OF SPACE FOR OPERATORS IN BT EXCHANGES|
An allocation procedure to decide the order in which operators should be able to install DSL equipment in the BTs exchanges has been proposed today by Oftel.
The procedure will do two things. It sets the order in which BT will prepare exchanges. Second, it determines the order in which space will be allocated where there is insufficient space for all the operators to install equipment.
Oftel proposes to use a method where space is allocated according to the priority that an operator has given individual exchanges for installing equipment.
The process will be necessary in the initial phase when high demand from operators for space in BTs exchanges is expected. Once this demand has been met, operators will put their orders to co-locate direct to BT for processing.
Operators need to install ADSL equipment in BTs exchanges to deliver new high speed services to consumers over unbundled local loops in competition with BT.
Commenting on the proposals, David Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications said today:
"Oftel will push BT hard if they claim there is insufficient space in an exchange for operators equipment. But if a large number of operators want to go into one exchange, there may not be enough room for them all.
"In the first round of bidding in September, over 25 operators requested space to install equipment in some exchanges.
"An allocation procedure is needed to decide the order of priority for operators that want to go into exchanges where there could be insufficient space for them all.
"The operators wanted to resolve this issue amongst themselves, but could not reach an agreement and asked Oftel to draw up an allocation process.
"Oftel has moved swiftly to draw up an allocation process so that operators can install equipment in the most popular of BTs exchanges as soon as possible.
"A list of operators in order of priority for accessing an exchange will be drawn up, based upon the priority they have given the exchanges."
David Edmonds said that the process could be quickly implemented so that consumers will benefit from a choice of providers for new high speed services.
"BT have already begun surveying exchanges from the first round of bids in September in advance of operators installing their equipment.
"Oftel will use an inspection team to independently verify any claim from BT that there is insufficient space in an exchange.
"The new agreed procedure will be used in December to choose the next batch of exchanges where operators can install equipment.
"The high level of competition in the UK market has created practical implementation problems not faced in other countries.
"We are well on the way to solving this problem and the UK is on course for delivery of unbundled local loops from the beginning of 2001."
The consultation document also includes a draft determination on the Code of Conduct that relates to the bow wave process.
Notes to Editors
Copies of Consultation on the allocation of space at BT exchange premises for siting third party equipment used to provide services over unbundled local loops and Consultation on the terms and conditions of the Code of Conduct governing the bow wave process are available on Oftels website at www.oftel.gov.uk/competition/bow1000.htm. Hard copies are available from the Press Office on 020-7634 8991 and from the Research and Intelligence Unit on 020 7634 8761.
Oftels proposed allocation method
For practical reasons it has been agreed that operators will submit bids in units of three racks of DSL equipment. Operators will bid for space in exchanges in increments of three racks. Only one bid is necessary if an operator wishes to bid for three racks or for six racks. Individual operators have an overall limit of 1500 bids for exchanges.
The Electoral Reform Society draws up a ranked list of all the exchanges which operators have bid for, with details of the operators that bid for space in each exchange in order of priority. The list will enable BT to carry out site surveys of the top exchanges in advance of operators installing equipment.
Operators will be allocated space within an exchange on the basis of their relative priorities for that exchange.
If the bid for a particular exchange is for only three racks then the priority given for the bid remains the same as the operator originally gave. If the bid is for six racks then the second increment of three racks is given a lower priority than that of the first three racks. Therefore if an operator submits a bid for six racks and the bid was given a priority of 10 the first set of three racks would have a priority of 10 while the second set of three racks would have a priority of 20. Splitting bids for larger amounts of space into two means that operators can be allocated the extra space if available.