Ofcom was wrong to suggest that people in the so-called final 5% of the UK will not receive superfast broadband access, as alternative fibre networks operators are already making this a reality, ITS Technology has claimed.
Last week, Ofcom CEO Sharon White told a Culture, Media and Sport Committee in Parliament that the areas not currently earmarked to benefit from the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband are unlikely to receive this at any point, despite several projects already underway.
From smaller providers such as B4RN to industry giants like BT, many companies have already made inroads into increasing coverage, through the likes of satellite and even regular fibre service.
Another company helping to improve access to these areas is ITS, and its Director of Strategy David Cullen said Ms White should have clarified that only the traditional model employed by incumbent operators is unlikely to penetrate the final 5%.
He noted that technology and even cost are not the main barriers, as these can be overcome by different ways of funding and encouraging greater take-up.
This has been illustrated by many alternative providers that are already successfully deploying fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) in very remote areas by using these and other innovative approaches, he explained.
"Where terrain, environmental factors, and of course premises’ density become a real challenge, we use a number of tried and tested wireless solutions that allow reliable superfast services to be delivered to residential and business end-users successfully," Mr Cullen elaborated.
"These stimulate demand, and when that gets high enough, there will be a natural and affordable shift towards FTTP - as long as affordable high capacity backhaul can be extended into these remote areas."
According to ITS, Ofcom needs to be prioritising a market that actively encourages new commercial approaches and the "extension of affordable backhaul" through strategies such as dark fibre and the use of transport infrastructure.