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News & Insight
- Openreach’s Exchange Upgrade & Migration trials: What you need to know
- 4 reasons full fibre outperforms copper every time
- Partner Roadshow 2020: Follow the fibre
- Enhanced Monitoring: Unleash the power of data(2)
- One Customer Desk: Becoming easier to do business with
- 7 reasons you don’t want to miss the Partner Roadshow
- Case study: Using powerful data to drive fibre upsell for our Partners
- Digital Britain 2.0: Comms Vision 2019 highlights
- Capacity Europe 2019 highlights
- 6 reasons to add G.fast to your connectivity portfolio
- Could EoFTTC hit the sweet spot for your customers?
- 3 things we learned at Channel Live 2019
- 5 reasons to visit us at Channel Live
- Harnessing Google's digital marketing insights to boost your business
- How to use robotics to improve business operations
- Q&A with Simon Leather at Connected Britain 2019
- Fibre and the channel: Busting the myths
- International Telecoms Week 2019: Meet the team
- Key takeaways from the Connectivity Matters Summit 2019
- Why the WLR switch off is an opportunity, not a threat
- 4 insights to reduce churn and stay one step ahead
- What we learnt at our first Partner Roadshow
- 5 ways to support your customers’ digital transformation
- Our COO's tips for winning business through customer experience
- Telco forecast: What to expect in 2019
- Top 5 network insights
- What's Christmas without connection?
- 11 steps to reduce the risk of telecoms Fraud over Christmas
- Help your customers win more this Black Friday
- Rob's had a day to forget
- Comms vision 2018 Highlights
- Meet us at Capacity Europe
- Making Unified Communications reeeeeally simple
- The Third Wave of Connectivity Evolution……Ultrafast
- Soapworks - A home to be proud of
- Intro to Knowledge
- Proud to be keeping Britain connected
- Ofcom reports our managed broadband speeds ahead of competition
- Preparing for the second surge in remote working
- Accelerate your Homeworker opportunity with our data and insights
- The future of telephony - Our VoIP journey so far...
- Changing the way we communicate for the better
- TalkTalk Business delighted to announce our 'Covid-critical' broadband engineers have been awarded MBEs
- TalkTalk Business win ‘Best Wholesale Sales Team’ Award at the Global Carrier Awards 2020!
- Everything you need to know about G.fast
- Markets Unlocked – TalkTalk Business joins the debate on a full fibre future
- Helping our Partners to build back better
- TalkTalk Business win Best Fibre Connectivity Provider at the Comms Business Awards 2020!
- Improving Employee Well-Being During COVID-19
- We’d like to introduce you to our TalkTalk Business Product Solutions Team – Focusing on creating value for our Partners
- TalkTalk Business shares research whitepaper to help Partners address the mass shift to hybrid working
- G.fast or FTTP – What are they and how to make the right choice for your customers?
- Six Top Tips to Help Your Employees Stay Connected While Working from Home
- Workplace wellbeing: A checklist for your business
- How to get a better work-life balance when hybrid working
- The modern workplace
- Wholesale Virtual Event 2021 – Reconnecting with our Partners
- Wholesale Virtual Event: A faster future
- Important update – Openreach stop sell at selected Exchanges
- Hybrid Working Opportunities for the Channel - Our Roundtable Discussion
- Full Fibre is far better for the environment
- Top tips on how you can support your remote workers
- TalkTalk Business Critical Infrastructure Update
- TalkTalk Business takes home a BESMA award
- We're finalists in the Global Women in Telco and Tech awards
- TalkTalk Business is a finalist in the Comms National Awards 2019
- TalkTalk Business’ MPLS network to be implemented at Multi-Academy Trust to drive efficiencies and save costs
- TalkTalk Business shortlisted for the CRN Women in Channel Awards
- TalkTalk Business picks up “Best Business” award at ITSPA this year
- Increased investment in our Partners
- Britain's businesses prepare for hyper- speed
- TalkTalk launches campaign to raise awareness of vulnerable connectivity
- TalkTalk Business offer businesses greater resiliency with Mobile Back-up
- Everything you need to know about IP Voice (VoIP)
- Important Notification of Change Freeze 2020
Ofcom’s strategic review of digital communications
Last month, Ofcom published its long-awaited, once-in-a-decade strategic review of the telecommunications sector, which looked at all aspects of the UK telco market, from the structure of Openreach to consumer switching.
In it, the regulator acknowledged that the current state of the market is no longer acceptable, and, crucially, that BT’s monopolisation of the market is to the detriment of service providers, businesses and their customers. Ofcom concluded that ultimately Openreach should be governed at arm’s length from BT Group, with greater independence in taking its own decisions on budget, investment and strategy.
The review also emphasised the need for Openreach to serve all wholesale customers equally, and consult them on its investment plans, suggesting this could be achieved by giving customers (such as Sky and TalkTalk) seats on the board. Even more encouragingly, Ofcom also expressed a specific commitment to delivering nationwide fibre to the premise (FTTP) for the first time.
This is hugely significant for our business. As I’m sure you’ve seen, TalkTalk campaigned long and hard in the run up to the report’s publication to make sure that the regulator took the bold decisions. We truly believe that now is the time to act to make sure the UK’s telecoms market is fit to meet the challenges of the next 10 to 20 years.
However, the report was a bit light on the practical details about how this greater independence could be achieved, although Ofcom’s CEO, Sharon White, has since said that the regulator will make a decision “within months” – and full ‘structural’ separation remains an option.
While there is still plenty left to do, this is still a significant step forward and importantly, the debate around the future structure of Openreach continues. We know all too well that the current structure simply doesn’t work for customers, which means it doesn’t work for us as a business, either.
Until this point, it has been far too easy for BT to game the system in their favour. Just recently they were caught trying to allocate the legal costs of their takeover of EE to Openreach and Ofcom themselves have admitted that BT has made billions more in profit than the regulations allow.
Encouragingly, the report expressed a specific commitment to delivering nationwide fibre to the premise (FTTP) for the first time. Key to this will be ensuring that BT really does open up access to their poles and underground cable ducts – as we build our trial FTTP network in York, we’ve had direct experience that it’s easier, cheaper and more efficient to build a new telegraph pole next to an existing BT one than to share it.
Overall, the report focussed more on consumer issues, which isn’t surprising given that the Business Connectivity Market Review, came out only a few weeks later. When addressing the ongoing fibre charge control consultation, Ofcom didn’t give much away, other than to say that they “may” impose a VULA charge control in the upcoming Wholesale Local Access review.
Finally, the regulator also reaffirmed their commitment to reducing regulation wherever possible, as long as consumers are not negatively affected, and proposed getting rid of the requirement for landlines to have a battery back-up, which would help to pave the way for all-IP landline networks.
TalkTalk’s view – Ofcom needs take bold action to secure a strong, ultrafast future for Britain
Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk Group, summed up the report as follows:
“Ofcom has done well in identifying many of the worst problems, including recognising, finally, that BT's control of Openreach creates a fundamental conflict of interest which hurts customers.
But having accepted all this, Ofcom has produced 100 pages of consultation with little concrete action behind it. The risk is that we end up with 10 more years of debate and delays, rather than facing into the problems and delivering improvements for frustrated customers now.”
Underlying the whole debate is the acknowledgement that there is benefit to the whole UK if we can solve the competition issue around broadband infrastructure. After all, if left unaddressed, the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to speeds and investment in innovation.
Obviously there is still much more to do. TalkTalk is confident that Ofcom has identified many of the challenges that the telecommunications sector need to address if the UK is to make the most of our digital potential and will continue to encourage the regulator to build on this initial report, and continue to take bold action, in order to secure a strong, ultrafast future for Britain.