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What happens when a Teleco is handed a monopoly
Tuesday 20 July 2004 19:27:00 by Andrew Ferguson

In a stark contrast to the UK in many ways, Verizon Communications in the US, has had approval from the Federal Communications Commission (along with the other Bells communications companies) to roll-out fibre networks with no requirement to share the infrastructure. More details on News.com.

One can hardly imagine the chorus of disapproval if Ofcom were to allow this in the UK. The reasoning appears to be that while the US DSL companies have been forced to share infrastructure to date, the cable companies have not. By keeping the operation in-house, the roll-out and infrastructure should be simpler and more important any revenue generated will come directly back to the company doing the roll-out.

The pricing details are even more annoying for UK users, since Verizon are suggesting pricing of $50 (£28.60) for a 15Mbps connection, and a 2-5Mbps product for $40 a month. There will be the addition of various taxes, since most US prices are listed excluding tax, which is generally around 10 to 15%.

The roll-out programme also looks impressive from a UK viewpoint, Verizon plan to reach 1 million homes and offices by the end of the year. The service is initially to be launched in Keller, Texas, which is about 30 miles west of the centre of Dallas. It is possible that a reason for picking that area, is the amount new housing construction, which lends itself to easy roll-out of a fibre network.

Currently it is almost impossible to put any timescale on when the UK will see an affordable fibre to the premises (FTTP) service passing 1 million homes.

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