Despite all of the unnecessary commotion and unjustified delirium of panic resulting from the Brexit referendum, we hope that it will lead to the dismantlement of the entire European Union, which we assert could bolster the economies of individual nations in general as well as the fiber optic businesses in each of the individual countries specifically. The EU resulted in just another layer of extraterritorial, bureaucratic rules and regulations on the continent, which has impeded market growth levels since its formation in 1993. However, unless Britain (and any other member states that decide to leave) take the necessary second step of a comprehensive abandonment of socialism within their own boundaries, which would be even more difficult to accomplish, investments will continue to be hampered. The situation in the UK itself requires true deregulation of the telecom space.
Of course, the BT Group, including the Openreach division (overseeing last-mile access), is always highly in favor of maintaining the status quo, and therefore was warning against the supposed hazards to long-term broadband investment with Brexit. Undoubtedly, the incumbent provider will use this major political development as an excuse to substantially slow down expenditures because of what it will characterize as concern over income levels.
Nevertheless, continual re-regulation by Ofcom (the UK’s communications regulator), such as with arbitrary price controls and with restrictions on service offerings, results in court disputes that hold up network deployment for long periods of time. It needs to be remembered that as competitors continue to build out their infrastructure, BT/Openreach will be forced to respond with further installations.
Ofcom’s threats to break up Openreach from BT only results in agreements not making that much of a difference with the incumbent dragging its feet in making its facilities available to the competition. The regulator needs to now totally get out of the way, and allow for market forces to dictate the most economical means of leasing capacity.
We are confident that removing such interference would result in a much speedier process to the desired digital goals of the UK. If it turns out that BT would be unwise enough to ignore the economic incentives that freedom would deliver, and to unfairly exploit its dominant position, we presume that the country’s competition laws would still provide remedies to aggrieved parties.
Naturally, there should be government involvement only in those rural areas of the country in which subsidization is a necessity because of the prohibitive costs to private firms.
By Britain removing itself from the EU, the ultimate detrimental goal of the bureaucrats in Brussels running the show has been further demonstrated – the eradication of sovereignty of the individual nation-states. The recently unveiled superstate plans reflect the utopian and statist motivations of elitists throughout the world who want to extend their political power as widely as possible.
[written by Mark Lutkowitz]