It seems that its not just the Australian government that has woken up to the necessity of FTTH. Ofcom, the UK equivalant to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) - but with teeth, has announced new proposals designed to promote optical fibre rollouts to new developments in the UK.

In a speech given at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "Next generation access and networks form part of the critical infrastructure of the country's economy and will be central to the way we live our lives in the future."

Ofcom has begun consultations on its proposals aimed at encouraging investment in super-fast broadband. The proposals include details of how the regulator intends to ensure all communications providers are given an equal chance to deploy fibre to new build properties.

At the recent Council Europe conference on fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), figures showed Sweden as the European country with the largest penetration at 7 per cent, with the UK nowhere near even one per cent.

Commenting on the UK approach to rolling out optical fibre nationwide, Quocirca analyst Rob Bamforth said, "It strikes me that if the Victorian's had taken a similar approach to sewers, they'd only have laid them in certain parts of certain cities, most would be well under capacity and someone would be trying to sell 'value-added water services' to the privileged few with big pipes."

The consultation closes on 25 June 2008.


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