The U.K. regulatory authority Ofcom has today published its:

"Final Statement and Notification, relating to its Review of the retail leased lines, symmetric broadband origination and wholesale trunk segments markets".

The document is 652 pages long, and we have not yet studied it in its entirety. Our first-glance analysis reveals the following salient points.

Ofcom has identified 6 product markets in the UK excluding Kingston upon Hull (a shorter list is defined for the area of Kingston upon Hull but is not reproduced here):

• retail low bandwidth traditional interface leased lines (up to and including 8Mbit/s) - this includes analogue circuits of relevant bandwidths, and incorporates the minimum set of retail leased lines identified by the European Commission (64kbit/s and 2Mbit/s)

• wholesale low bandwidth traditional interface symmetric broadband origination (TISBO) (up to and including 8Mbit/s)

• wholesale high bandwidth traditional interface symmetric broadband origination (TISBO) (above 8Mbit/s up to and including 155Mbit/s)

• wholesale alternative interface symmetric broadband origination (AISBO)

• wholesale very high bandwidth traditional interface symmetric broadband origination (TISBO) (above 155Mbit/s)

• wholesale trunk segments (note that this market extends to the whole of the UK).

British Telecommunications (BT), the fixed incumbent operator, is declared as having Significant Market Power (SMP) on the first 4 out of the 6 markets, and regulatory obligations (distinct for every market) are imposed. It would take us too far in this news item, and at this stage, to attempt to describe the regulatory obligations put forward for each relevant market.

As regards leased line interconnection (partial private circuits), obligations of non-discrimination and cost-orientation are maintained, as well as all the detailed regulation resulting from Oftel's interventions in the past, and Ofcom proposes to apply "an interim wholesale price reduction, equivalent to 7% reduction in real terms of the average annual charge" until a longer-term wholesale charge control system is defined.

Ofcom is opening a public consultation on such a charge control system; which includes a proposal for a 4-year RPI-X network-cap formula.

The Ofcom consultation document on the "Partial Private Circuit Charge Control" can be accessed by clicking here.

The full text of the Ofcom Statement and Notification on wholesale and retail leased lines markets can be accessed by clicking here (does not work in all web browsers).

For a discussion, please contact Yves Blondeel.