Entries in telecoms (17)


Avoiding a regulatory chimera

In this paper for Chorus, Brian Williamson reviews the proposed approach to fibre regulation in New Zealand which would involve a combination of an anchor product, revenue cap and passive access (on commercial terms). The paper concludes that the proposed set of remedies would be overly constraining on service and pricing flexibility, and that a lower service level anchor product alone would be sufficient, without the addition of a revenue cap.


Consumer lock-in for fixed broadband

In this report for the CCIA, Rob Kenny and Aileen Dennis considered the barriers to switching in fixed broadband. Such barriers are important since many regulators expect consumers to 'police' ISP behaviours, such as traffic management policies and net neutrality violations, by switching to another provider if those policies do them harm. However, if switching barriers are high, consumers may not switch even in the face of such harm.

The report considers:


  • Which types of switching barriers are present in broadband
  • Whether ISP practices and statements suggest they believe switching barriers are high
  • Levels of switching between providers
  • The likelihood of switching in response to a decline in quality


The report also uses new consumer research to quantify broadband switching barriers, finding that for consumers in France, Germany and Italy they are equivalent to a cost of €183.


Evidence-based, light-touch regulation?

In February 2016 Ofcom published its Initial conclusions from the Strategic Review of Digital Communications. This response, by Rob Kenny and Brian Williamson, suggests that Ofcom's report does not live up to its aspirations to be evidence-based and light-touch.


Examining WIK's bandwidth demand forecast

As part of its wholesale local access market review, Ofcom recently published a bandwidth demand forecast by WIK. This forecast claimed that 40% of UK households would require 1Gbps or more downstream in 2025, and 82% would require 300 Mbps or more.

Such figures are appreciably above other forecasts. This note from Communications Chambers looks at WIK's assumptions and methodology to understand why.

Forecasting domestic UK broadband demand, 2013-2023

Communications Chambers were commissioned by the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) to develop a model (and summary report) that  seeks to forecast UK domestic demand for broadband capacity. As far as we are aware, it is the first such model to be put into the public domain. 

The model combines the usage profiles of various applications with the usage of profiles of individuals. These individual profiles are then combined into various household profiles. 156 household profiles are modelled in the report, based on demographics, intensity of use and TV type.  The household profiles have also been combined to create a picture of national demand.
The work was supported by BSkyB, BT, Ofcom, TalkTalk, Three and Vodafone.
You can download the model, report and press release below. Comment and feedback is invited.

You may also be interested in subsequent work using a similar methodology: