Response to Ofcom's Strategic Review of Digital Communications


City communications

Response to Ofcom's Strategic Review of Digital Communications

25 February 2016

Quote from Greg Mesch, CityFibre CEO

‘CityFibre welcomes the recommendations published today by Ofcom following its Strategic Review of Digital Communications. The report’s conclusions are clear – that to meet the UK’s current and future digital communication needs, and enable widespread availability of competing fibre to the premises networks, a strategic shift to support large-scale investment in end-to-end fibre is required. To accelerate this, Ofcom recommends the promotion of investment and competition, and provisions such as the assurance of meaningful access to BT’s physical infrastructure. The conclusions in today’s report will considerably strengthen CityFibre’s capability to drive forward an alternative fibre future for Britain’.

Further Comment from CityFibre

It is clear from Ofcom’s key strategic proposals that Openreach cannot and will not be allowed to remain solely responsible for delivering the fit-for-purpose infrastructure essential to fulfil the UK’s digital potential. Healthy competition and continued investment in fibre from multiple companies is vital.

Ofcom’s strategy to encourage fibre investment, improve competition, and to ensure meaningful and usable access to BT’s physical infrastructure, creates a unique opportunity for alternative providers, such as CityFibre, to accelerate and extend new and existing roll-outs of next generation, ultrafast, fibre to the premises infrastructure projects nationwide.

Alternative infrastructure providers, such as CityFibre, play an increasingly crucial part in the landscape and we are encouraged to see the report explicitly reference its support for the large-scale deployment of ultrafast networks. Innovative infrastructure builders are already responding to demand from businesses and consumers for ever increasing demands for pure fibre infrastructure and companies like ours are central to a shared goal of enabling the UK to compete and succeed in a digital age.

Ofcom also recognises that at a technological level, BT’s continued strategic reliance on and investment in copper-based infrastructure - often masquerading as fibre – is inadequate to meet the soaring demand driven by new services and increased usage habits that the market continues to observe.

With major metro fibre networks in 36 UK towns and cities as well as our York project rolling out fibre to the home with Sky and TalkTalk, CityFibre is the only wholesale competitor to Openreach. We will continue to respond to market demand and play a vital role in addressing the fibre connectivity needs for mobile operators, ISPs, the public sector and consumers. The recommendations put forward in Ofcom’s strategic review today only serve to strengthen our position and ability to respond to demand for our services across the UK in the near term.