On 18 June 2012 Ofcom published its Business Connectivity Market Review consultation ("Business Connectivity Market Review Further Consultation" dated 15 November 2012) reviewing competition in leased line services in the UK. Ofcom is still considering the responses it has received to this consultation. However, based on responses received to date it has decided to revise some of its previous proposals. Ofcom's revised proposals include:
- expanding the definition of the West, East and Central London area ("WECLA") to include some postcode sectors in Slough;
- changes to the drafting on the direction to be imposed on BT in relation to Service Level Guarantees to apply limits to the compensation payments payable by BT (such limits had inadvertently been omitted previously);
- proposing that BT be subject to cost accounting obligations in markets where it is found to have SMP and that BT and KCOM should be subject to accounting separation obligations in each of the wholesale product markets in which Ofcom proposes they have SMP; and
- imposing a number of circuit routing rules to be applied to Openreach's provision of Ethernet services operating at or below 1Gbit/s: including (i) revising the definition of trunk aggregation nodes ("TANs"); (ii) a simpler and more flexible set of circuit routing rules obviating the need to define catchment areas for TANs; and (iii) minor changes to the proposed definition of a backhaul segment used in setting SMP conditions.
In addition Ofcom is seeking further evidence on the competitive conditions, including the intensity of competition and the extent to which businesses use dark fibre to self provide, in the high bandwidth leased line services previously defined by Ofcom as multiple interface symmetric broadband origination services ("MISBO"). Ofcom has requested that responses be submitted by 5pm on 17 December 2012.