TERA ANALYSTICSSeptember 2015
Public consultation to adjust the telecommunications regulatory frameworkBy Denis Basque
The European Commission launched a public consultation on the possible adjustments of the telecommunications regulatory framework. Started on September 11 and running through December 7 2015, this project is part of the digital single market strategy.
This public consultation stands on the three pillars of the current regulatory framework: 1) the network contributes to maintain a coherent and predictable environment to stimulate investments in new broadband networks; 2) the service aims to transform the regulatory framework in a context of online service development; 3) the governance ensures a harmonized market regulation between the different Member States.
The roll-out of New Generation Access for fixed (FTTH, DOCSIS3.0, FTTC) and mobile networks (LTE, LTE-A) is crucial for Europe and requires substantial investments, especially in fixed networks. In recent years the European Commission has set up several concrete actions. However most of these decisions and recommendations are contradictory, for instance:
- Some countries increased the copper price to stimulate migration to fiber (such as in Luxembourg), while others decreased copper price to avoid overcompensating incumbents (in Denmark)
- A symmetric NGA network regulation was implemented in countries that did not offer access to network services (France), while elsewhere asymmetric regulation compels countries to provide New Generation Network services (such as in the United Kingdom).
- Although local collectivities are encouraged to invest in rural areas that are generally neglected by private operators, local collectivities are dependent on bigger operators’ commercialization strategies.
The future regulatory framework will combine two diverging objectives: foster investments in NGN while stimulating competition in the telecommunications sector. This public consultation is, therefore, critical for the players in charge of deploying NGA networks: service providers are waiting for network deployment to launch their services, incumbents who have invested in copper local loops for decades and can make substantial investments, alternative operators who contribute to creating a competitive environment with their (co)investments, and finally the local collectivities who invest in rural areas.
Report on the determination of appropriate costing and pricing methodologies for the copper access network in Ireland
TERA has conducted a study for the Irish regulatory authority ComReg (The Commission for Communications Regulation) aiming to analyze the various valuation methodologies available to ComReg for the valuation of the copper local loop in order to set wholesale Local Loop Unbundling, Sub Loop Unbundling, Naked DSL and wholesale line rental prices. One of the specificities of this study is that geographic differences between urban and rural areas have been carefully taken into consideration. TERA also considered the European Commission recommendation of 11 September 2013 on consistent non-discrimination obligations and costing methodologies to promote competition and enhance the broadband investment environment.
TERA also assisted ComReg to develop a copper local loop cost model using detailed geomarketing data about Ireland.
Forward looking review of future AFL element of USO in Ireland
TERA has conducted a study for the Irish regulatory authority ComReg (The Commission for Communications Regulation) about the need for Access at Fixed Location (AFL) Universal Service Obligations (USO) in the future in Ireland. TERA has analyzed the demand side and the supply side for fixed telephony in Ireland and has identified scenarii to assess what would happen absent any AFL USO on the Irish territory (impact of the absence of Quality of Service obligations, impact of the absence of geographically averaged prices obligation, impact of the absence of affordable prices obligations, etc.).
TERA has considered the presence of several alternative network infrastructures in some parts of Ireland, the technological evolutions relevant to AFL, the Irish National Broadband Plan and the distribution of local loop costs in Ireland.
Internet, space of interregulation: Symposium of the Journal of Regulation
Laurent Benzoni chaired the second part of the symposium of The Journal of Regulation: The solutions of interregulation of the internet. This symposium aims to discuss the needs of an Internet interregulation and whether it will adapt traditional regulations because of new technologies and new uses or more radically rethink sectoral regulations and regulatory law. A French-written book will then be published in October in the Regulations Series, edited by Marie-Anne Frison-Roche, in the French Publisher Dalloz. Laurent Benzoni’s report entitled « Searching for the economic underpinning of the internet interregulation ».