Demand for fixed and mobile broadband connections is growing rapidly, from both people and businesses. To meet this demand, sizeable investment is needed to upgrade the UK’s broadband infrastructure. Whether to support fibre to the home broadband, connections to 5G mobile stations, or seamless business connectivity, more fibre networks will be needed to support the next generation of services in the UK. The UK Government has also signaled strong support for fibre networks and wants 15 million premises to be connected by 2025.
In February 2016 we published our initial conclusions from the Strategic Review of Digital Communications (“the DCR”). We explained that one of our strategic objectives is to promote the interests of consumers by encouraging the large-scale deployment of new fibre networks in support of providing competing ultrafast broadband services.
Given our strategy, we consider that it will be increasingly important to understand the costs of deploying fibre networks to support our future regulatory decisions. Understanding the cost of deploying a fibre network will help us determine the likelihood of competition emerging in a particular area. It will also help us to design charge control remedies that fulfil the objectives we set out in our March 2019 consultation on our approach to remedies.