Feeds

Sky asks Ofcom to unlock BT cabinets

Bundled FTTC not competitive

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Complaints about the competitive landscape in Britain's broadband model have led Ofcom to announce a review which may include enforcing unbundled fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) access.

Coming hard on the heels of a UK National Audit Office report that savaged the country's behind-schedule (particularly in rural areas) broadband project, it's emerged that Sky wants access to BT's cabinets in the form of unbundled DSLAM ports.

The Ofcom review notes that Sky has asked for unbundled fibre-to-the-cabinet, replicating the kind of competitive access that ADSL providers receive in the UK.

“FTTC unbundling, also known as SLU Bitstream, could allow a CP to rent DSLAM ports at a cabinet where BT had deployed FTTC. This could provide it with more control over the connection, including through the use of its own backhaul”, the Ofcom consultation document states.

Sky has told the UK regulator it's tried to obtain unbundled access to the cabinets on a commercial basis, but been rebuffed by BT. “If, as in the past, BT was not minded to provide such an unbundled access with the flexible backhaul options proposed, there would be considerable merit in Ofcom considering during this market review whether BT should be required to provide a SLU bitstream product”, the regulator says.

Under the current model, backhaul and DSLAM ports are sold as a bundled product. What access seekers want is to unbundle the DSLAM ports from the backhaul, so they can install their kit into the street cabinet, and run their own fibre from the cabinet to the exchange.

It's a question of considerable interest to Australian broadband-watchers: the federal opposition, sharply critical of the government's National Broadband Network, has cited the UK model as a template for its alternative model.

The British regulator also proposes that in its next regulatory period, BT could consider a trial of FTTDP – fibre to the distribution point – to assess the viability of the G.fast standard. G.fast is a very high speed, short-loop copper technology touted as being able to deliver gigabit speeds over 100-200 metres.

However, Ofcom notes: “It is likely to be a number of years before G.fast is technically mature enough for commercial deployment”, so for now its consideration will be limited to whether a pilot is required. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.