Ofcom to deregulate wholesale broadband

Ofcom today announced it would deregulate the wholesale broadband market in any parts of the UK with strong enough competition - covering some 70 per cent of the country.

The deregulation will be in any part of the country which has four or more wholesale broadband providers, so long as no single company has too much market power. The watchdog said the most competitive areas tended to be cities and larger towns.

In any other areas, Ofcom will still requiring BT - and KCOM in Hull - to provide wholesale broadband at a regulated price to internet service providers or telecoms firms to sell off for retail services.

Ed Richards, Ofcom's chief executive, said he hoped the deregulation would lead to more investment and innovation. "We now need to build on these foundations and see timely investment and a competitive market emerge for next generation access as well."

For a map showing the deregulated areas, click here.