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Ofcom chief backs WDM as future of fibre competition

09 ноября 2011

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards on Tuesday said he expects wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to become a key enabler of competition in the retail fibre broadband market.

WDM increases capacity by allowing multiple signals to be transmitted on a single optical fibre; Richards said it is already used by telcos in their core networks, but he predicts operators could potentially begin deploying the technology in their access networks by 2015.

"With these elements in place the potential may exist for a competition remedy: unbundling at the wavelength level, allowing different communications providers to address individual customers each using a different wavelength," he explained during a keynote presentation at Total Telecom World in London.

The increase in competition brought about by wavelength unbundling would likely keep retail prices for high-speed broadband services low, and in the event that wholesale prices are subject to regulation, Richards' suggestion could conceivably make it more challenging to recoup the cost of building out the network.

With up to £830 million of government funds allocated for driving infrastructure rollout in remote areas, Richards is keen to ensure any publicly-funded networks provide open access on fair terms.

"Open access must be provided as part of any publicly-financed initiative, with interoperable systems that maximise the potential for effective downstream competition," he said. "Otherwise we end up with single vertically integrated providers in a range of areas, and an absence of choice, innovation and competition."

In addition Richards also highlighted the importance of churn as a sign of healthy competition.

"Most players have established substantial customer bases," he said. "Most are intensely concerned about churn and would like consumers to be as sticky as possible.

"[But] it's very important that enough consumers do churn, that enough consumers exercise their choice to extract the benefits for all consumers from the disciplines of competition," he said.


Источник: Total Telecom

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