As government gets to grips with its promises on gigabit connectivity it will unleash a flood of policy initiatives and consultations in our industry. Indeed it has already started – previously log-jammed policies such as legislation on wayleaves, and new build gigabit connectivity have been joined by Ofcom’s Market Review – ‘Promoting investment and competition in fibre networks’ - plus other consultations, with a lot more to come.
As well as news from INCA itself we are keen to include relevant news items from INCA members. Please send relevant items of news, ideally including a photo where relevant, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll publish news from members that we feel is of interest.
INCA’s members are at the heart of our mission and purpose and we are fortunate to be part of a vibrant and growing sector. This is reflected in INCA's diverse membership, which includes both established and new altnet operators, suppliers, vendors, local authorities, consultants, and other groups that support our mission.
In the past few months we have been reviewing our membership benefits and fees, with the aim of enhancing the value of INCA membership to members old and new, and also to ensure that we can continue to provide a sustainable service to members. As part of this we're developing plans for further service improvements, of which a little more below. We are also working on an enhanced events programme for 2020 – more on that as move into the new year.
On behalf of our members INCA offers congratulations to the Prime Minister for his historic General Election victory. Our members welcome the clarity of the result and the greater certainty this brings. We look forward to working with the new ministerial team as INCA’s members continue to build the best possible digital infrastructure our country needs and deserves.
The Conservative manifesto reiterated Johnson’s pledge to deliver ‘gigabit capable’ networks throughout the country by 2025. This is a challenging target and INCA will continue working to address key issues including potential restrictions on labour supply, trade, busting through barriers to deployment and funding allocations with the new minister and officials.
Like everybody else we were caught by surprise by Labour’s announcement on Friday Nov 15 that if they win power they plan to create two new nationalised entities to roll out fibre and offer free broadband under the brand British Broadband. The first we heard about this was on Thursday evening in a text from a senior contact at Openreach asking if we had any knowledge on the subject. Nobody in the industry saw the policy coming – even BT and other large players like Virgin Media and Vodafone were blind-sided. As recently as the party conference BT were assured that they would not be a target for nationalisation. Our contacts in the Labour Party did not know about the dramatic policy shift.
Following the successful INCA Conference held on 16/17 October in Manchester, where we enjoyed record levels of participation, we've now compiled all of the videos, the photographs, and the speaker presentation decks from the event.
Here's a quick taste of what's on offer:
Following on from the work we've been involved in over recent months on the rapidly approaching changes to the method for consumers to be able to switch their broadband connection / internet services provider, we've scheduled our first event for members to enable us to provide a briefing and gather feedback on what's happening.
The new process for Cross Platform, Gaining Provider-Led Switching, which we cover in more depth in this briefing note, will need to be adopted by every INCA Member who runs a network and/or retails internet access services to consumers and SMEs.
The achievements of some of the UK’s best independent network organisations and individuals were acknowledged last night at our second annual INCA Golds Awards Dinner.
As the Government pledges to reach its full fibre targets ahead of 2025, the awards recognise the innovative work being done by independent network operators to build next-generation networks to meet future broadband demands.
Acknowledging the efforts of companies and individuals across the sector, eight awards were presented, with accolades going to:
A major change to the broadband industry affecting all network operators is coming and coming fast. Based on the new EU Electronic Communications Code (EECC), Ofcom is mandating a new method for consumers to be able to switch their broadband connection, which needs to be in place by 21st December 2020.
The new method will be a "Gaining Provider-led" switching process where the customer is moving between retailers whether they use the same or different access infrastructures (e.g. Openreach to another wholesale platform & vice versa). It even applies to non-fibre or copper infrastructure such as FWA.
As we approach our Annual Conference, we have great pleasure in announcing the names of the people and organisations that have been shortlisted for an INCA Gold Award this year.
As with last year, we received a high number of excellent entries. Our judging panel were impressed with the quality of submissions, which only served to make their task harder. However, they have reached a decision on the shortlist, which is as follows. The organisations shortlisted are:
When INCA started back in 2009 many of the leading independent digital infrastructure providers were a glimmer in the eye of their founders, or just starting out. Today they represent a genuine and fast growing force to compete with BT and Virgin Media, delivering the new communications networks that we will all depend on for decades to come.