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Regulation and the telecommunications infrastructure evolution in Europe
For further information please contact:

Adam Kapovits
Programme Manager
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

In the last five to ten years the evolution of the access networks in Europe was very much guided by the European Commission’s regulatory policy. This policy favoured the opening up of the infrastructure for new and alternative providers and resulted in a competitive market. Thanks to this policy broadband access became widespread and affordable – prices came down and the service improved, the bandwidth multiplied. Lately, however, one could observe some drawbacks of the policy, especially in a global perspective. The approach taken in Europe very much focused on the reuse of the existing copper infrastructure and discouraged owners of the access network infrastructure to invest in modernizing their network, namely to invest into new optical access network build-outs, because it insisted and still insists on the opening up of any, including newly built infrastructures for other providers that are standing by and ready to provide services over the new infrastructure, but do not invest a penny into it. This clearly leaves incumbent providers and owners of the infrastructure in a disadvantaged position and discourage investment by significantly weakening the business case.

What are the main objectives of this Project?

The objective of this study is to assess the impact of the European regulatory policy on the broadband access evolution in Europe. In particular, the study should highlight the impact of the current policy on

  • The evolution of the access networks in Europe

  • The speed of the necessary technology change and upgrade

  • The effect on operators business

  • The options of incumbent operators and owners of the infrastructure in this situation, including a scenario of total separation of services from infrastructure, and the outsourcing of the operation, maintenance and upgrade of the infrastructure to a neutral entity, and also the effect of such a separation scenario on the evolution of service offerings, considering the advantages a vertical integration offers technically.

  • Overall European competitiveness, in general.

Furthermore, the study should examine the regulatory policy in other parts of the World, in particular in those countries where broadband deployment is currently booming, and identify what regulatory policy changes supported the current boom.

The results of this study could/should serve as a background material for ETNO in its discussion with policy makers.

Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Issue date
Regulation and the telecommunications infrastructure evolution in Europe (Word Document) D1 October 2008
Regulation and the telecommunications infrastructure evolution in Europe (PowerPoint Presentation) D2 October 2008