Ofcom's proposals to promote private sector investment and competition to provide super-fast broadband services have been welcomed by industry experts.
Earlier today, the telecoms regulator announced that it would open up regulation for the investment of next-generation broadband networks.
The watchdog said that firms would be able to provide services at speeds in excess of 40MB/s by either accessing BT's new fibre access network on a wholesale basis via Openreach products, or by combining their own electronics with physical infrastructure rented from BT.
Jessica McArdle, marketing manager of broadband comparison site Top 10 Broadband, said the move showed a "welcome shift towards high-speed, reliable, future-proofed broadband for all".
"Ofcom's commitment to releasing spectrum means there is finally real scope for achieving super-fast broadband access across the UK beyond the lacklustre 2MB download speed targets set out in the government's Digital Britain report," she added.
There was also good news for the expansion of the UK's fibre optic networks today, after an Ofcom survey found that up to 50 per cent of BT's underground telecoms cable ducts have enough space in them to fit fibre optic cables.
The survey, carried out by Analysys Mason, identified that 51 per cent of duct ends have at least 42 per cent of unoccupied space, which suggests that duct access may be feasible.
Ian Birleson, partner at Analysys Mason, argued that providing access to existing ducts could reduce the cost of deploying fibre for communication providers, thus lowering the barriers to entry and supporting competition.
“Our study also demonstrates that the unoccupied space in the infrastructure network is not evenly distributed across the different sections of the network and across the different cities we have surveyed," explained Birleson.
"The duct infrastructure is more likely to be congested in the access part of the network than in the backhaul network, and duct ends are more likely to have unoccupied space in cities where recent civil engineering work was carried out. "
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