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Mobile broadband to prompt 100Mbps rollout

ISPs need super-fast broadband option

The increase in popularity of mobile broadband could force fixed-line ISPs to invest in next-gen networks offering 100Megabits per second (Mbps) internet access, reports Ofcom.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said super-fast broadband would allow ISPs to offer high-bandwidth products and differentiate themselves from mobile broadband offerings from the likes of Vodafone, 3 and T-Mobile.

At a conference hosted by Intellect, Richards also said there had been a "step change" towards the idea of investing in fibre from a range of companies and organisations.

Ofcom said it plans to publish details of a regulatory framework in September that will guarantee operators who plough cash into fibre a fair rate of return.

"Ofcom favours a regulatory environment for the next generation of networks and access that both allows and encourages operators to make risky investments, to innovate for the benefit of consumers and, if the risks pay off, for the benefit of their shareholders too."

"We want investment in a competitive environment," he added.

Both BT and H2O are currently trialling superfast broadband in Ebbsfleet, Kent and Bournemouth respectively, but it will be many years before the whole of the UK has access to such services.


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