Ofcom’s Business Connectivity Market Review (BCMR) examines the markets for the provision of leased lines in the UK. Leased lines are high speed, high-quality, point-to-point data connections that telecoms providers use for connecting offices, mobile base stations, and broadband access networks. As such, they are essential to support the provision of mobile, business, and residential broadband services and form the backbone of the UK’s digital infrastructure.
Every three years, Ofcom conducts a review of competition in the markets for the provision of leased lines in the UK. Where we find that a provider has “significant market power” (SMP) in a market (i.e. that they can act independently of competition) we impose regulations designed to address concerns about the impact of that market power on competition.
This document consists of two volumes with supporting annexes:
The deadline for responses is 18 January 2019. Annexes 1 to 3 set out the process for responding to the consultation. We will take all responses to this consultation into account before reaching our final conclusions, which we expect to publish in spring 2019.
We have today published a draft statement on our review of the physical infrastructure and business connectivity markets. This has been submitted to the European Commission, which has a month to comment.
We expect to publish our final statement before the end of June 2019.
Further to our update on timing of the BCMR statement, we are pleased that Openreach has made a commitment to continue providing network access and maintain current prices and quality of service from the expiry of existing regulations to our final set of decisions.
Our BCMR consultation closed on 18 January 2019. We received a number of substantive consultation responses. In light of these, we are updating stakeholders on the likely timing of our BCMR statement. In our consultation we said we expect to publish our statement in spring 2019. We now intend to publish our final statement in May.
We anticipate that Openreach will continue to provide network access and maintain current prices and quality of service in the period between 31 March 2019 (the expiry of the current temporary SMP conditions) and the publication of our final statement.
In response to stakeholder queries, we have published a second version of our BCMR consultation, initially published on 2 November 2018, to correct and clarify the inter-exchange dark fibre charge control model and scope of the remedy. We have also made a number of minor corrections and published a list of data centres. We set out our corrections and clarifications below.
We invite stakeholders to consider this information when preparing their responses due by 18 January 2019.
Inter-exchange dark fibre
Increases in certain proposed charge controls for inter-exchange dark fibre:
In Annex 23, Condition 10B.1(ii), the Dark Fibre Access Annual Rental has changed from £50 to £51.
References for the scope of proposed dark fibre remedy:
“7.41 The objective of our assessment is to identify which connections between BT exchanges are not competitive. To meet this objective, we have considered different possible indicators of SMP.”
“10.21 We are therefore proposing that the dark fibre remedy will apply only to inter-exchange routes from BT Only exchanges.”
“12.1 We propose to introduce a requirement for BT to provide access to dark fibre on reasonable request for inter-exchange connectivity circuits from BT Only exchanges.”
“12.72 We propose introducing dark fibre for inter-exchange connectivity from BT Only exchanges.”
We have corrected errors in the following sections:
List of data centres
In response to stakeholder comments, we have published a list of data centres (XLSX, 39.3 KB), including the data centre postcode and name (where publicly available) - any names not publicly available are marked as unknown. The list is to help industry identify the locations where our proposed regulation would not apply and supplements the consultation document. This list has been updated from the list used in the original consultation following corrections and stakeholder responses to information requests.
Consultation Volume 1: Market analysis, proposed SMP findings and remedies [Updated 19 December 2018]
Schedule 6: List of exchanges for inter-exchange connectivity services
Following a request from Openreach, we have provided it with a copy of the cost model for active services. In the interest of transparency, we will consider all requests to be provided with copies of our models.