|EU Regulatory Decision Day Draws Near|
On the 23rd September, the European Parliament will conduct its first reading of the new EU Telecoms reform proposals. Figures at the European Commission are optimistic that this will be the first in a short, rapid series of steps that could culminate in the final agreement before the end of the year, which in turn would enshrine a new regulatory framework into law among all 27 EU Member States by 2010.
Ahead of this potentially momentous chain of events, Viviane Reding – the EC telecoms commissioner – this week addressed the European Parliament in a speech calling for the agreed legislation to strike the right balance between promoting competition and securing necessary fibre investments.
She said, “I applaud the Parliament's moves to encourage infrastructure competition on these 'next generation access' networks by proactively promoting the sharing of the ducts that house the new fibres and encouraging risk sharing of new facilities. These efforts are welcome and are in line with a recommendation that I am currently preparing to give guidance for national regulators on these issues. But the upgrading of the choke point in the high speed internet must not become a new and enduring bottleneck for competition in the future."
"Unbundling of fibre is currently neither technically nor economically possible which means that alternative operators must invest in their own fibre or use a bitstream service of the incumbent… In the many geographic zones where infrastructure competition proves not to be feasible, appropriate regulation will continue to be the only way to keep competition alive."
*These comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the FTTH Council Europe.