It should come as no major surprise that Ofcom seems set to approve BT pushing fibre further out from the exchanges to consumers and small businesses who have not had pockets deep enough to pay for fibre connections previously. The Guardian tells us that we can expect an announcement on Tuesday with the rules that will layout who BT will provide wholesale access to its new super fast network. The options for Ofcom were limited since if it refused BT then the only next generation like network approaching national coverage would be Virgin Media who currently offer no form of wholesale access. Allowing wholesale access means while the technology involved will change, providers will be able to make use of it to market products with ever more exotic names.
Hopefully a green light from Ofcom will silence those looking at the share dividend in the short term. The work involved in building the new network will help to retain staff rather than shedding even more than has already been announced. For all of us as consumers we will have to accept that more fibre based solutions will command a premium price for a few years, meaning £30 to £50 is likely to be a more realistic price than the £5 to £20 that first generation broadband currently demands.
Being asked to pay more is never nice, but those where broadband has become a central component for their work or entertainment need to consider this when buying broadband. The cheap broadband providers can be akin to buying a ticket to see a film in the cinema, but because you picked a popular film, you have to share a seat and can only stay in the film for 30 minutes.