The UK’s telecoms regulator Ofcom has unveiled proposals that would allow Hull-based communications provider KC, which is part of the KCOM Group, to offer bundled telecoms services. Until September 2009 both KC and British fixed line incumbent BT were restricted from bundling their services due to being classified as significant market powers, at which date Ofcom lifted the controls applying to BT. Now, however, the regulator has said that it ‘is concerned that these regulations may prevent Hull residents from benefitting from the innovation and choice in the communications market that has been seen elsewhere in the UK’.
Under the proposals put forward by Ofcom it has said that it intends to allow KC to offer bundled services on the proviso that: bundles are made available to all residents and businesses in the Hull area; prices for bundles are published by KC online; and prices are set in a way that will not discourage other operators from offering their services to consumers in the area. A consultation on the proposals is currently underway, with any feedback due by 2 September 2010.
Double- and triple-play services are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and according to Ofcom’s most recent figures around 50% of UK consumers bought a bundle of two or more communications services in the first quarter of 2010, up from 29% in 2005.