Review of the wholesale broadband access markets - Call for Inputs

Start: 09 November 2012 Status: Closed End: 20 December 2012

1.1 Under the common European regulatory framework for electronic communications, Ofcom is required to carry out periodic reviews of electronic communications markets in the UK, including the markets for wholesale broadband access (‘WBA’).

1.2 Our last review of the WBA markets concluded in a statement in December 2010 on market definition, market power determinations and remedies in which we imposed certain regulatory obligations on BT plc (BT) and KCOM plc (KCOM) in those markets where they were found to have SMP (the ‘2010 WBA Statement’) and a further statement in July 2011 setting a charge control on BT (the ‘2011 WBA CC Statement’). That review covered the period from March 2010 to March 2014. We are now commencing a new market review to examine competitive conditions in the supply of WBA services in the UK, which will cover the period from April 2014 to March 2017 (the ‘Review’).

1.3 This Call for Inputs seeks stakeholders’ views on key issues for the Review before we start our substantive analysis of competitive conditions in the WBA markets. The Call for Inputs will run in parallel with information requests under section 135 of the Communications Act 2003 (the ‘Act’), which we plan to issue later this month and which we will rely on to gather information for the purposes of the Review.

1.4 The Review will:

  • identify the relevant WBA products and services and the appropriate geographic areas within which those products and services should be considered so as to define the relevant economic markets for our analysis; then
  • examine each of those markets in order to determine whether each market is prospectively competitive and whether any undertaking has significant market power (‘SMP’); and
  • finally, if we consider that one or more operators has SMP in the relevant market(s), we will consider whether it is appropriate to impose (or maintain) regulatory remedies on those operators.

1.5 As in the last WBA review, in formulating our approach to market definition and SMP we will take due account of the European Commission’s Recommendation on relevant product and service markets (the ‘Recommendation’) and SMP Guidelines. The WBA market corresponds to EC Market 5 in the Annex to the Recommendation, which defines the WBA market as comprising “non-physical or virtual network access including ‘bit-stream’ access at a fixed location.”

1.6 We would like to gather stakeholders’ views on:

  • how we might define the relevant markets and assess SMP, particularly in light of any market developments since our last market review;
  • with respect to the existing remedies, stakeholders’ experience of regulated WBA services, market entry and competition in the relevant markets;
  • whether and how these markets have changed since the last market review was completed, both from the perspective of stakeholders and the perspective of their customers; and
  • any relevant issues outside the proposed scope of our review that stakeholders consider we should include.

1.7 We seek responses to this Call for Inputs by 5pm on 20 December 2012.

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Responder name
EE.pdf (PDF, 225.6 KB)
BT.pdf (PDF, 754.0 KB)
KCOM.pdf (PDF, 53.3 KB)
TTG.pdf (PDF, 152.1 KB)
BSkyB.pdf (PDF, 127.7 KB)