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BT offers pole and duct access - and asks for the same in return

BT has proposed that network operators that want to share its poles and ducts should have to let BT share their infrastructure too, as it published draft proposals on the prices, terms and conditions for third-party access to its infrastructure.

"We will be seeking that communications providers making use of the Openreach infrastructure also open their own ducts and poles to other operators," said Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, BT's regulated infrastructure company.

Openreach has proposed that network operators should pay £21 per pole attachment and from £0.95 per metre for duct access annually to share BT's poles and ducts. A range of ancillary services and prices should also apply, it added.

Openreach said the proposed pricing of the duct sharing product compared "very favourably" with similar offerings in other European markets. "Looking at an average across France, Spain, Portugal and Germany, Openreach's price proposal is approximately 15% below the average," it said in a statement.

Openreach was responding to government proposals to allow third parties access to BT infrastructure to speed up the roll-out of next-generation networks, particularly to provide fibre access to rural areas and urban broadband 'not-spots'.

BT said it already shared infrastructure through products such as Generic Ethernet Access, Sub-Loop Unbundling, and Wholesale Broadband Connect.

"Duct and pole sharing may also play a role in further extending the availability of fibre broadband services across the UK, particularly within the context of the government-organised tenders aimed at bringing faster broadband speeds to rural areas," Openreach said.

BT said the proposals were at the draft stage and followed "extensive industry engagement". An industry consultation and trials would follow, with a commercial launch in summer this year, it said.


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