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BT reveals pole and duct-share pricing

# 14 January 2011, 20:14 by Chris T

BT Openreach has revealed what it wants to charge Virgin Media and other rivals for access to its ducts and poles. It wants 95p per year for every metre of cable a rival wants to run through a BT duct, or £21 per year for every pole they attach a cable to.

Openreach says this pricing is part of “draft proposals” that include the full terms and conditions that would apply. It aims to further consult with the industry prior to a full commercial launch which it forsees taking place during summer 2011.

In a statement today (Friday 14 Jan 2011), Openreach claimed that its proposed duct-share pricing was on average 15% lower than comparable schemes in Europe. It said there is very little comparison available for pole-sharing prices.

Openreach’s infrastructure sharing proposals have been keenly awaited by Virgin Media, which sees access to BT’s poles and ducts as crucial to its own future expansion plans. But Openreach has used today’s announcement to fire a shot across its keenest rival’s bow.

In a thinly-veiled reference to Virgin Media – the only rival to BT with a nationwide fibre infrastructure – Openreach’s statement said: “We will be seeking that communications providers making use of the Openreach infrastructure also open their own ducts and poles to other operators … it’s important that, like BT, those companies deploying fibre infrastructure make their services available on a wholesale, commercial basis.”

Virgin Media has yet to issue a response to BT’s proposed infrastructure sharing prices.

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