Re: How can this "micro trenching" possibly work?
Although switching copper for fibre would present a slight conundrum because at the moment only a few CPs have signed up for BT's FTTP offering. Ofcom would have to decide how to tackle that - do you just shrug and say 'tough titty' to those CPs that have yet to embrace FTTP? If so what about their customers?
What about them? Ofcom regulates service providers, and like most of the UK's regulators, focuses on the 'market', not the consumer. Any arguably deregulation and competition has been anti-consumer because it's resulted in huge amounts of waste building parallel infrastructure chasing the low hanging fruit.. And infrastructure is expensive, hence the market's been consolidating. In the US, Ma Bell got broken up, but its slowly and steadily reassembling itself.
Then there's the regulatory gamesmanship. CPs wanted BT dark fibre and/or duct access. BT sucked it's teeth and came up with it's FTTP and duct/pole access.. Which is a service, and not dark fibre, and has equivalence. Openreach will sell it to any CP, it's just that given the way the services are structured, it best suits BT's business and retail divisions. Funny how that works.
Politically, it makes some sense to favour the incumbent given they've generally inherited the infrastructure and are generally 'too big to fail'. BT is critical national infrastructure, smaller fibre providers aren't. But politically, it also gets complicated. State says 'fibre for all!'. Nice, so figure on $100/m or more to dig fibre. How is that funded? My FTTP install had 4 Openreach vans working a Saturday to blow fibre into my home, then an inside plant guy doing the termination. With a Huawei OTN. So the US bans Huawei.. who would they buy their OTNs from that aren't made in China?
But figure on say, $2,500 per termination. If that's wholesaled at say, $9/month, it's a long payback. Especially if you have to pay wayleave charges, power, taxes (USO, or UK rates) and a competitor can take on the retail customer after their 12month contract is up. And if you're a cable provider, you're looking at ever increasing content costs for movies/sports/TV channels, and you're losing those revenues to OTT IP streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, YT, HBO etc etc who'll take the subscription fees and won't pay for carriage.
So basically it's a bit of a slow motion train wreck.. And realising connectivity is a natural monopoly like water supply is one possible solution, albeit expensive. The technology side is really the easy bit, ie G.984 and call it good :)