Ofcom Targets Competitive Next Generation Networks

Industry regulator Ofcom has announced the next stage of its work to encourage competitive Next Generation Networks (NGNs) with eight companies having already committed to NGN UK. These include: BT Group plc; Cable & Wireless; Easynet; Kingston Communications; NTL; Thus; Vodafone; Wanadoo UK.

The Ofcom announcement says that over time NGNs will offer consumers a wider choice of innovative new products and more value for money. However to ensure these benefits are delivered, providers need to agree the technical and commercial arrangements for connecting to each other’s networks.

NGN development is a significant technological change which requires substantial investment and detailed planning. After a public consultation published in June 2005, Ofcom has today set out its approach to facilitating effective cross-industry coordination and to providing greater clarity to operators and investors about the regulatory framework for NGN development.

New industry body

Ofcom’s approach includes the establishment of a new industry body, NGN UK, which will be launched later this month. NGN UK will be led by Peter Black as Executive Chairman, in addition to his ongoing role overseeing the independent Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator and Local Loop Unbundling.

• The introduction of an NGN industry body was first proposed by Ofcom in its June 2005 consultation on NGNs;
• Eight companies have already committed to NGN UK. These include: BT Group plc; Cable & Wireless; Easynet; Kingston Communications; NTL; Thus; Vodafone; Wanadoo UK;
• NGN UK will focus on the technical and commercial arrangements for NGN development. Its initial priority will be to help companies develop an effective technical and commercial framework for interconnection between NGNs.
• Ofcom will monitor NGN development and the work of NGN UK closely, to ensure that regulation is informed by the industry’s commercial priorities.