LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Britain’s telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed opening up BT’s fibre networks to other operators to improve competition in the market which provides large businesses and mobile and broadband companies with high-speed data links.
The regulator said the proposals concerned the 2 billion pound ($3.15 billion) market for “leased lines” which are used by companies, universities, schools and other public bodies to move around large amounts of electronic information.
“To ensure that businesses have effective choice, and to encourage competition and innovation, Ofcom is proposing a new requirement on BT - the largest supplier in the market, upon whose network many competitors’ services rely - to supply ‘dark fibre’ in areas outside central London,” Ofcom said.
The fibre-optic cables provide a service referred to as “dark fibre” which are currently “lit” by BT’s electronic equipment. Under the new proposals, they would be able to be “lit” by a rival operator’s equipment.
BT’s competitors include TalkTalk and BSkyB .
The proposals made on Friday would be subject to consultation, with a final decision published next year.
$1 = 0.6341 pounds Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Paul Sandle