Vodafone Questions "Wholesale-Based" Access Competition

It is an unwavering strategic belief within the U.S. cable TV industry that the business can not, and should not, be based on use of leased facilities. Among the chief reasons is that costs cannot be controlled when relying on a third party’s facilities under lease.

The other reason is that the ability to differentiate is lost when buying wholesale access. That has not generally been seen as a viable option in many other markets, where the assumption is that there is only room for a single facilities-based network.

Singapore might be the fortunate market where there are multiple facilities-based providers as well as a universal wholesale regime. New Zealand and Australia have chosen to go the wholesale route.

That has become less true in the United Kingdom and other markets where cable TV operators have established themselves, creating a facilities-based option, in large part, even if coverage is not completely universal.

Vodafone might be leaning towards a facilities-based approach, working in cooperation, in some form, with Virgin Media.

In recent years, the advantages of such an approach have become clear. Cable operators have been able to scale access speeds faster, at lower cost, than telcos. Vodafone might want to exploit that advantage in the U.K. market.
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