Issued 26 August 2011
The United Kingdom has one of the most competitive and dynamic markets in the world for the provision of fixed line data and voice services. Competition in these markets is underpinned by the provision of regulated wholesale inputs by Openreach in the form of Wholesale Line Rental ("WLR") and Local Loop Unbundling ("LLU") services. There are over 23 million LLU and WLR lines currently provided to end-users in the UK.
In resetting the LLU and WLR charge controls, it is important that Ofcom reaches the right decision since this will affect all areas of investment in current and future network technology and shape competition for fixed line data and voice services for the next few years. It is vital that Ofcom comes to the right conclusion and discharges its statutory duties appropriately.
These charge controls must provide a reasonable opportunity for Openreach to fully recover its forward looking efficiently-incurred costs, including permissible regulatory returns on capital across the key copper access products throughout the charge control period. The controls should also provide the appropriate incentives and pricing flexibility to allow Openreach to respond to market demand and the needs of its customers.