The UK fibre market is at a pivotal moment, we cannot take progress for granted

25 June 2024, London – nexfibre has today published a report arguing that the progress made by the UK’s fibre market is fragile and action is required to protect it.

  • nexfibre publishes new report on state of the wholesale fibre market and how the UK can transform access to quality broadband
  • Operator takes a critical look at historic underinvestment in the sector and steps policymakers should take to protect and build upon recent progress 
  • Ahead of Ofcom’s Telecoms Access Review, the report outlines a series of recommendations to create the best regulatory environment for national scale digital infrastructure competition in the UK

25 June 2024, London – nexfibre has today published a report arguing that the progress made by the UK’s fibre market is fragile and action is required to protect it.

In its inaugural report, nexfibre, the next generation wholesale network operator, critically examines past underinvestment, key challenges, and necessary steps for policymakers to  promote national scale sustainable competition and the transformation of fibre access across the UK.

This includes advocating for three crucial areas:

  • A stable regulatory environment which continues to attract the much-needed investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure. The only way the UK can drive momentum beyond the current roll-out is to ensure a sustainable, competitive market long term.
  • A regulatory framework which ensures a consistent and equitable playing field for all operators. Regulators and policymakers must restrain anti-competitive behaviour from the incumbent and put in place a regulatory framework which addresses exclusion of competitors.
  • A market characterised by sustainable competition rather than fragmented sub-scale operators. The UK needs national-scale wholesale competition to secure future progress and generate the right conditions to accelerate innovation and development in the full-fibre market.

Ofcom’s upcoming Telecoms Access Review (TAR) will assess the market, the challenges it faces and set-out regulatory frameworks for 2026-31. The decisions made will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the UK’s digital infrastructure, economy and society. Without decisive action, policymakers risk losing the momentum the market has worked so hard to build.

Uniquely positioned in the market, nexfibre is providing  high-quality fibre access to millions of households, while also shaping the market itself by fostering sustainable competition and innovation. This will empower people and businesses by accelerating the full-fibre rollout, attract investment that benefits the entire UK economy, and promote innovation by continually exploring and investing in cutting-edge technologies.

Rajiv Datta, Chief Executive Officer of nexfibre, said:

“I am delighted to publish nexfibre’s ‘Platform for Progress’ report, reflecting on our first year operating in the market and taking a critical look at what is needed to further unlock the sector’s potential.

“As we have set out today, the market faces a series of challenges. Some of these have been driven by a historic lack of investment and others have been the result of external factors.  All of them can be overcome if we create a dynamic market environment conducive to competition and progress.

“I look forward to working with industry partners and policymakers as we move towards delivering digital infrastructure that is fit for the future.”

Please find the full Platform for Progress report here.

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

  • The full report can be found here.
  • nexfibre is a joint venture between InfraVia Capital Partners, Liberty Global and Telefónica and is financed with £4.5 billion of equity and debt investment. It will initially roll out fibre to 5 million premises by 2026, with the opportunity to expand to an additional 2 million premises.
  • nexfibre is due to invest 1bn in the UK’s digital infrastructure in 2024 as part of their plans  to provide long-term competition in the full-fibre market on a national scale.
  • nexfibre’s investment will provide a major boost to the UK’s digital economy and make a significant contribution to the Government’s gigabit broadband ambitions.
  • Virgin Media O2 is nexfibre’s anchor wholesale tenant.
  • nexfibre intends to make its network available to other internet service providers. Additionally, nexfibre and Virgin Media O2 together intend to wholesale their networks to other internet service providers creating a national-scale operator, boosting choice and competition in the market.
  • For press inquiries, please contact Lauren Maher ([email protected]) or Molly Gibbons ([email protected]).

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