Another Open Market Review for Wales?
Apparently the Welsh Government has issued a warning that it may have to go through yet another Open Market Review to determine the extent of the commercial investment by Openreach once it has completed its FTTC/FTTP roll-out in Spring 2014.
The Open Market Review should determine the extent of the commercially available superfast services and which areas fall below the 2 Mbps USC speed. It is not totally clear if this is simply the Welsh Government ensuring it does not mess-up, or that the commercial roll-out plans have shrunk (or more unlikely grown) since the last Open Market Review.
The Welsh Government has faced criticism over the way it has to date worked on a very category to define intervention areas, i.e. exchange based in particular for its voucher scheme, and we would not be surprised if a result of a final review in 2014 would be to address this issue and refine intervention areas to the best practice resolution of postcode, or maybe cabinet level.
Intervening to address a market failure when the market is still rolling out a service was always going to be problematic, but when the other option would have been to wait until the middle of 2014 for any projects to get underway the pressure to be soon to be doing something was too great on the politicians.