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Openreach reveals pole and duct sharing costs

Openreach — a division of BT that deals with its infrastructure — has drafted pricing proposals for companies wanting to share its telegraph pole and cable duct infrastructure to deliver cable broadband to customers.The proposal, which BT stresses is still in its initial phase, is the product of industry engagement and sets out pricing for third-party access to BT Openreach's pole and duct infrastructure.

Openreach — a division of BT that deals with its infrastructure — has drafted pricing proposals for companies wanting to share its telegraph pole and cable duct infrastructure to deliver cable broadband to customers.

The proposal, which BT stresses is still in its initial phase, is the product of industry engagement and sets out pricing for third-party access to BT Openreach's pole and duct infrastructure. However, the company says that it is not a complete solution for delivering fibre to the whole of the UK.

"Although we don't view duct and pole sharing as the silver bullet to get fibre to every premises in the UK, these new products represent a positive step, opening our infrastructure to supply industry with an even wider range of different mechanisms for delivering fibre broadband," Steve Robertson, chief executive of Openreach said in a statement.

The announcement proposes that companies wanting to share cable duct infrastructure should pay from 95p per metre, per annum. According to Openreach, this represents a 15 percent discount on similar infrastructure schemes running in other parts of Europe. There will also be a range of ancillary services and pricing options to allow service providers flexibility, the company says.

In order to share telegraph pole infrastructure it will cost companies £21 per pole attachment. Both methods are expected to be ready for commercial service by the summer of 2011.

In October communications regulatory body Ofcom ordered BT to outline its plans for pole and duct sharing in its Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) regulation proposal that formed a key part of the Review of the Wholesale Local Access Market.

As well as opening up its duct and pole infrastructure, BT Openreach already allows other companies to purchase products based on its Generic Ethernet Access (GEA), Sub Loop Unbundling (SLU) and Wholesale Broadband Connect technology.

The current GEA product allows for fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connections but BT says it is trialling a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) variant — which would deliver higher upload and download speeds — that it hopes to launch more widely before the end of the year.