It looks like deregulation is to be the next big thing in the parts of the UK where competition has meant the old incumbent BT has lost a lot of its dominance.
So far other than the comments in the Reuters UK article there is not much concrete information on what any of the interested parties expect to happen next. Ofcom has welcomed the news and looks set to start a public consultation on the subject.
"We deregulate part of the UK broadband market in places where there is competition,...
Only regulate where regulation is necessary, where there are bottlenecks,...
This is a decision which will not only allow Great Britain to scrap a very big part of its regulation on the broadband market, but will also give the rules under which this can happen in other member statesEU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding at a EU Parliament hearing
What the effects would be of removing a lot of rules and obligations from we presume mainly BT are hard to predict, it could see the two tier pricing becoming more pronounced and an end to the single price across the UK to the consumer for BT Wholesale based products. Conversely it may allow BT and competitors to seriously start on deploying fibre into the last mile with less need to consider the desires of its competitors. There is even an outside chance that a new entrant to the UK Telecoms arena may see a chance to create its own fibre local loop to compete with the BT metallic and Virgin Media fibre/co-ax hybrid.
"Ofcom proposes to tailor regulation in these sub-national markets according to the level of competition in each,
The area covered by this proposed deregulation accounts for approximately 65 percent of UK premisesStatement from Ofcom
Ofcom published a review of the wholesale broadband markets in November 2007 which defined the main sectors of the market in the UK, it looks likely that the deregulation would apply to the "Market 3" area where four or more principal operators are operating or expected to operate.