Openreach Cancels Dark Fibre Access

17th August 2017

Dark fibre traditionally refers to optical fibre infrastructure that is not in use, as many companies over-estimate the amount of cabling required. It originally used to refer to the potential network capacity of telecommunications infrastructure, but is now commonly used to refer to the lease of fibre optic cables.

cable wires

dark fibre

Ofcom originally ruled that BT had to make its fibre infrastructure available to third-parties in order to improve competition in the UK broadband market. This would allow Vodafone, Three, and other mobile networks to use their own equipment to send data across fibre optics rather than using Openreach equipment.

However, this went to a tribunal, who concluded that Ofcom made a string of errors in its regulations for the new market of dark fibre. In the wake of this, BT Openreach have opted to cancel the Dark Fibre Access project. An Ofcom spokesperson was quoted as saying: “We continue to believe that dark fibre can bring significant benefits for businesses and consumers.”

An Openreach statement reads: “Giving the ruling, and after discussions between Ofcom and various parties involved, Openreach won’t be launching a dark fibre product on 1 October 2017 [..] we remain keen to discuss alternatives that could meet their needs.”

Mark Collins, Director of Strategy and Public Affairs at CityFibre, who benefit from offering an alternative to Openreach, has welcomed the tribunal’s decision: “the completive market for business connectivity […] is alive and well and not in need of disproportionate and unnecessary regulatory interference.”

Thankfully, there is no need to have access to dark fibre in order to use Planet Telecom services, even for our VoIP phone systems that require superfast broadband. We work closely with various ISPs to ensure that your call quality is always crisp, clear, and stable!

To find out more about our incredible deals on international calls, or how our Non-Geographical Numbers could help your business, simply call us today on 08000 886 886 and speak to a member of our friendly team.