1.1 This consultation document contains Ofcom’s specific proposals for new charge controls for certain leased lines services provided by BT.
1.2 A leased line is, in essence, a communications service which provides dedicated transmission capacity between fixed locations, which can be used to carry voice and data traffic. Many organisations, both in the private and public sectors, use leased lines to support a wide variety of information and communications technology (‘ICT’) applications, such as access to the internet, private voice and data networks, backup and disaster recovery, remote monitoring and telemetry applications.
1.3 Leased lines are also used by communications providers (‘CPs’) as a key building block in their communications networks. For example, mobile network operators (‘MNOs’) use large volumes of leased lines to carry mobile voice and data traffic between their radio base stations and their switching centres. Similarly, providers of fixed broadband services use substantial volumes of leased lines to carry traffic between local aggregation points, such as BT’s local exchanges, and their core networks.
1.4 On 18 June 2012 we published the Business Connectivity Market Review Consultation (‘the BCMR Consultation’) in which we set out our analysis of competition in the provision of leased lines services in the UK1 . This analysis indicates that BT has Significant Market Power (‘SMP’) in the provision of a number of wholesale leased lines services. To address this SMP a number of remedies are proposed, including charge controls in some of the relevant markets which we have identified. This separate consultation therefore supplements that publication by seeking views from interested parties about our specific charge control proposals.