CAT overturns Ofcom’s dark fibre proposals

The CAT has issued a ruling on BT’s appeal of Ofcom’s 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review, which proposed regulated access to BT’s dark fibre. The ruling overturns Ofcom’s key conclusions on market definition, finding that Ofcom erred in: (i) defining a single market for connectivity regardless of bandwidth; (ii) concluding that the rest of the UK outside London comprised a single geographic market and (iii) its assessment of the extent of the competitive ‘core’ network. The CAT is currently preparing its full judgement on these issues, but the matter will be remitted back to Ofcom for reconsideration.

The CAT notes that “the imposition of the [dark fibre access] remedy is contingent on the correctness of Ofcom’s market definition analysis.” Therefore, the judgment is expected to stay Ofcom’s plans for access to dark fibre previously slated for this autumn.

DotEcon provided BT with economic advice and expert testimony to support its appeal.

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