Review of the wholesale broadband access markets

  • Start: 11 July 2013
  • Status: Closed
  • End: 25 September 2013

Broadband is increasingly important to both residential and business consumers. It allows them access to a range of content and services. Effective retail competition plays a key role in ensuring that consumers benefit from lower prices, greater choice, better quality services and innovation, and has helped to promote high levels of broadband adoption.

Competition in retail broadband services depends on effective competition in the wholesale broadband access (WBA) market, complemented by regulation where necessary.

Levels of competition in WBA vary significantly across the country. Urban areas are most likely to have a choice of broadband access providers, thanks to competition from both cable and operators who take advantage of local loop unbundling (LLU). The intensity of competition broadly decreases with population density, as the economics of rolling out broadband infrastructure become more difficult.

However, these geographic variations are evolving as the market develops. Since 2010, competition has spread to more rural areas as communications providers have continued to roll out their broadband networks, but it has still not reached the most remote areas and is unlikely to do so.

Our market definition has evolved in line with market developments: whereas in 2010 we defined four markets, we now propose only to define three: Market A - where there are only one or two potential significant wholesale broadband providers present or forecast to be present, which accounts for 9.6% of UK premises; Market B - in which we believe there is effective competition, accounting for 89.7% of premises; and the Hull Area - 0.7% of UK premises, where KCOM is the only significant provider.

As we propose that there is effective competition in Market B we do not propose any regulation. In addition, we propose to remove regulation in those parts of Market B where there is currently regulation - approximately 12% of UK premises. In both Market A and the Hull Area we propose to retain the general access, non discrimination and transparency obligations that are currently in place.

In Market A we also propose to implement a price control at a level within the range CPI-7% to CPI-1%, together with cost accounting obligations.

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets PDF, 1.0 MB

The terms and conditions on which OFCOM is making available the Cost Model are set out below.

This Cost Model has been developed to help stakeholders understand how Ofcom has estimated how the allowed costs of providing the relevant services will change over the period of the proposed Charge Control, in order to calculate its value of X for the baskets in the Charge Control.

All right, title and interest in the provided model (the 'Cost Model') constructed in Excel are owned by OFCOM. Such title and interest is protected by intellectual property laws. While you may freely use the Cost Model for the purposes for which it is provided, as set out in the accompanying model documentation, it is not to be modified in any way or used for commercial gain or otherwise without the prior written permission of OFCOM.

No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy, completeness or correctness of the Cost Model and it is provided 'as is'. It is provided without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy.

OFCOM does not accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or your computer system which may occur whilst using the Cost Model or material derived from the Cost Model. OFCOM does not warrant that the functions contained in the Cost Model will be uninterrupted or error free. Also, OFCOM does not warrant that defects will be corrected, or that the Cost Model provided is free of viruses.

In no event will OFCOM be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from use or loss of use of, data or profits arising out of or in connection with the use or otherwise of the provided Cost Model. By using this Cost Model, you agree to the above.

These Terms and Conditions shall be covered by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. Any dispute arising under these Terms and Conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.

Wholesale Broadband Access (WBA) Charge Control Model (Zip)

This document sets out Ofcom’s conclusions on the review of the Wholesale Broadband Access market.

Broadband services play an important role in enabling residential and business consumers to access a range of content and services. Effective retail competition plays a key role in ensuring that consumers benefit from lower prices, greater choice, better quality services and innovation. It has also encouraged high take-up of broadband among consumers.

The Wholesale Broadband Access market includes the wholesale broadband products that communications providers provide for themselves and sell to each other. This market is important because it helps to create competition among the providers of broadband services that consumers buy.

This draft statement, which explains our decisions to ensure this market remains competitive, is today being notified to the European Commission for comments. Once this notification process is complete, we will publish a final statement to bring our decisions into effect.

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets - Draft statement PDF, 2.6 MB

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets - Draft statement annexes PDF, 1.3 MB

This document sets out Ofcom's conclusions on the review of the Wholesale Broadband Access market. Broadband services play an important role in enabling residential and business consumers to access a range of content and services. Effective retail competition plays a key role in ensuring that consumers benefit from lower prices, greater choice, better quality services and innovation. It has also encouraged high take-up of broadband among consumers.

The Wholesale Broadband Access market includes the wholesale broadband products that communications providers provide for themselves and sell to each other. This market is important because it helps to create competition among the providers of broadband services that consumers buy.

On 19 May 2014, we notified to the European Commission for comments our draft statement, which explained our decisions to ensure this market remains competitive. The notification process was completed on 19 June 2014 and this final statement brings our decisions into effect.

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets - Final statement PDF, 2.6 MB

Review of the wholesale broadband access markets - Annexes to final statement  PDF, 1.4 MB

Note to stakeholders: Summary of main non-typographical changes made to the draft Statement in preparation for the final Statement  PDF, 20.1 KB

Response from the European Commission to the draft statement   PDF, 72.9 KB

Supplementary information – WBA 2014 CSV, 261.7 KB

**NOTE: If you are downloading the model using Internet Explorer you may need to modify the file extension from '.zip' to '.xlsm' for it to open correctly.**

WBA Charge Control Model


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BT.pdf (PDF, 1.0 MB) Individual
EE.pdf (PDF, 396.7 KB) Individual
KCOM.pdf (PDF, 178.0 KB) Individual
TalkTalk.pdf (PDF, 637.8 KB) Individual
Virgin_Media.pdf (PDF, 196.3 KB) Individual