17/07/2006

End-to-end connectivity

Ofcom Website | End-to-end connectivity

When a telecoms providers offers telephony service calls have to get on or off their network. As BT is the largest supplier of services in the UK, they are obligated to provide termination services, and make those services available to others.

This consultation considers whether other operators should have to provide similar termination services to all others, or can restrict who they offer termination to and make others go through BT.

Ofcom has identified four options for ensuring end-to-end connectivity:

* Option 1 – Do nothing;

* Option 2 – To publish new guidelines;

* Option 3 – To require all providers of a public electronic communications network(‘PECN’) to purchase wholesale narrowband (fixed and mobile voice and narrowband data) call termination services on reasonable terms and conditions from any other PECN who wishes to supply termination to it (and its customers);

* Option 4 – To require BT to purchase wholesale narrowband (fixed and mobile voice and narrowband data) call termination services on reasonable terms and conditions from any PECN who wishes to supply termination to BT (and its customers) on the basis that end-to-end connectivity will be ensured through an obligation on BT without the need to impose such an obligation on all PECNs.

Ofcom is proposing access-related condition will apply to BT only, and will require BT:

* to purchase wholesale narrowband (fixed and mobile voice and narrowband data) call termination services from any PECN that reasonably requests in writing that BT purchases such services (proposed condition 1.1);

* to ensure that the purchase of the wholesale narrowband (fixed and mobile voice and narrowband data) call termination services shall occur as soon as reasonably practicable and shall be on reasonable terms and conditions (including charges), and on such terms and conditions (including charges) as Ofcom may from time to time direct (proposed condition 1.2);

* to ensure that after purchasing wholesale narrowband (fixed and mobile voice and narrowband data) call termination services, BT will not be able to unreasonably change, withdraw or restrict access to an applicable Normal Telephone Number (proposed condition1.3);

* to comply with any direction Ofcom may make from time to time under this Condition (proposed condition 1.4).

The consultation runs until August 15th 2006.
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