Physical Infrastructure Access is something that has been debated and regulated for sometime in the UK, with Openreach setting prices that then competitors and lobbyists complain are too high, regulation kicks in and prices are set lower, but often not as low as some would like. The latest round of changes are due to a Competition Commission investigation in 2012 and Openreach has now given its required 90 notice for price changes.
The price changes affect the cost of ducts and ancillary services and are the result of Regulatory Asset Valuation (RAV) Adjustment and should mean that for infrastructure access in the cities prices will drop, for example the price for 'Facility in Spine duct per metre - single bore' should drop from 86p to 60p per metre in September 2013. The current PIA pricelist has both sets of pricing where applicable.
PIA allows competing broadband providers to share the Openreach ducts, pavement chambers of other network elements on an item by item or metre by metre basis. This becomes important in cities and larger towns as it can often be the case that the only sensible route across a road junction is via the Openreach ducting, or an expensive and intrusive dig to add your own ducting.
A common moan about PIA is that it cannot be used for business access, but the restriction on business use does not stop the deployment of PIA to serve a number of businesses and homes but rather to stop PIA being used to provide national fibre backbone infrastructure or for point to point links between two data centres for example.