Entanet has welcomed the measures taken by Ofcom in the recent draft Strategic Review of Digital Communications that will compel BT to open up its dark fibre network to competitors, fix faults faster, reduce average install times and lower wholesale prices on leased lines.
Neil Watson, Head of Service at Entanet, applauds the stance being taken by the regulator and welcomes the tougher service standards being set for Openreach on the provisioning and service levels delivered on leased lines.
“This is a step in the right direction”, he states. “We understand the complexity of delivering services but ultimately we – and our customers – experience issues and delays on a daily basis. The service levels delivered and delays caused by Openreach (regardless of third-party factors) can be difficult – if not impossible – to justify or explain.”
Entanet is hopeful that this signals a shift in approach and that Ofcom will now take a tougher line on standards. “Ideally, this should be the starting point. We’d hope to see the targets set by Ofcom improve even more over time, to a point where comms providers and customers alike can rely on Openreach to deliver a level of service that will enable businesses to plan their communications strategies with much more certainty.”
Watson does, however, express reservations over Ofcom’s directive that prices should be lower for leased lines. “Is this really going to help BT deliver the necessary service and infrastructure improvements?” he asks, pointing out that customers are likely to go for the cheapest option, putting pressure on comms providers and that this could actually result in reduced competition and choice.
On BT being compelled to open up its dark fibre network, Watson’s view is stark. “While we understand that BT will want to protect its very expensive assets, we have no sympathy given that BT has made it nigh on impossible for others to build their own networks.”