Thursday, November 04, 2010

Ofcom settles and closes case brought against BT in March 2002

Which means that this was brewing up in late 2001 - before I joined WorldCom (which feels several centuries ago) - when BT had a joint venture with Yahoo!  and an appalling content portal called Openworld (known as Open Woe). To claim they were not price squeezing shows that Oftel and then Ofcom could not work out BT's accounting properly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BEREC publish about 50 documents

You wait all year for a document then fifty turn up at once! Note net neutrality consultation response and draft work programme for 2011.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ITU useful stats: 2billion web users, 5.3billion mobiles

More stats in their ICT2010 document"subscriptions to IMT2000/3G services have increased from 72 million in 2005 to 940 million in 2010. As many as 143 countries are offering IMT2000/3G services commercially, up from 95 countries in 2007. Over the past year, mobile broadband has experienced steep growth, especially in Europe and the United States, and some countries have started to offer commercial services at even higher broadband speeds, moving to next generation wireless platforms. The trend from voice to (mobile) data applications is reflected in the growing number of SMS, or text messages sent, which tripled over the past three years to reach a staggering 6.1 trillion in 2010. In other words, close to 200 000 text messages are sent every second. Overall, the price of ICT services is falling, but high-speed Internet access remains prohibitively expensive, especially in low-income developing countries. In 2009, an entry-level fixed (wired) broadband connection cost on average 190 PPP$ (Purchasing power parity in USD) per month in developing countries, compared to only 28 PPP$ in developed countries. Mobile cellular services are much more affordable, with an average monthly cost of 15 PPP$ in developing countries compared to around 18 PPP$ in developed countries. The relative price for ICT services (especially broadband) is highest in Africa, the region with the lowest income levels. The region lags behind when it comes to broadband access. Although subscriptions are increasing, a penetration rate of less than 1 per cent for fixed broadband illustrates the huge challenges that persist to increase access to high-speed, high-capacity Internet."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Competition Commission judges on LLU - latest of 5 appeals in two years

The CC has delivered a 513-page judgment on Carphone Warehouse (now TalkTalk) in its appeal against the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) decision in LLU - and has decided that it needs to review its procedures now that it has had to rule on its fifth price control appeal in two years.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 update: freely available materials

For those who cannot afford £80 for publicly available materials, they are also freely available in:
this EC document (updated February 2010): 
and on the following websites:
3. EC caselaw (updated February 2010) (right side)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Polish regulator over-eager to regulate Internet exchanges

The EC has just made its first Article 7 decision since Neelie Kroes became INFSO Commissioner - that Poland's regulator misregulated in designating the incumbent as dominant in IP transit and interconnect. Its an important case, because of this reasoning.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Universal service and Directory Inquiries - complex UK reference to ECJ

Its here - and focuses on whether Ofcom was right to interpret universal service for number listing as an obligation at wholesale level on BT. The European Court will consider it in 2010.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leased lines in UK - dispute affecting 2004-8

A potentially £100million dispute is dragging through the Competition Appeal Tribunal after an appeal by BT from Ofcom's ruling concerning the cost of business broadband lines - dating back to 2004. I spent 2002 working on the previous round of the same dispute!!!

When telecoms operators go bad - court enforcement and delays

Ofcom is now taking a Birmingham-based telephone company to court - at least 30 months after accounts of abuse came to light - is this too slow?
"Ofcom’s monitoring of Telephonics’ behaviour in relation to a section 94 notification which was issued to Telephonics on 20 March 2009, and which concluded that there were reasonable grounds for believing that since at least 1 June 2008, Telephonics had contravened, and was contravening, General Condition 1.2 of the General Conditions of Entitlement (GC 1.2)
As set out in the Section 95 and 96 Notification, Ofcom has concluded that Telephonics has:
  1. contravened General Condition 1.2 (“GC1.2”) by misusing information obtained for the purpose of facilitating a transfer, by incorrectly applying the Cancel Other facility and engaging in Inappropriate Save Activity;
  2. failed to take steps to comply with GC 1.2; and
  3. failed to remedy the consequences of its contravention of GC 1.2."
Consumer and EU issues are dealt with in this commercial conference - always worth asking if you can attend as an observer for the second day (they will hum and haw but you might get in).

Structural remedies and Ofcom

Interesting self-congratulatory Ofcom paper on OpenReach - as well as a nice piece on ECJ potential cases. Its also worth noting that the Digital Economy Bill rumbles on with a government response to an online petition against cutting off connections.

Friday, February 12, 2010

WorldCom fraud and its systemic effects on telco-ISP competition

Interesting paper on what happens when a single large actor in the interconnected world of telecoms engages in systematic fraud over several years - leading others to over-invest, hurting bilateral relations between carriers, and leading to 'competitive bankruptcy in which many of WorldCom's rivals had to seek new ownership or Chapter 11 protection. Those who avoided bankruptcy and forced restructuring were left in the worst position of all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why the European Commission had to reform the Directives

Huge an hugely influential BT-sponsored report, including especially work of Anders Henten, Jonathan Cave, Brian Williamson, and above all, Martin Cave - their recommendations were followed virtually to the letter where constitutionally possible (limiting length of national court processes was in the end too much to expect the Council of Ministers to accept).

Friday, February 05, 2010

3 February: deadline for UK on T-Mobile/Orange merger

OFT formally petitioned the European Commission to have the case referred. This will allow local evaluation of how the merger of T-Mobile and Orange will impact the UK mobile market, with a view to what restrictions should be placed on such a merger. T-Mobile and Orange were hoping that an EU-level investigation, with its 90-day turnaround, would wave through the merger with minimal concessions on either side. But, conversely, it would be a victory for the competition, who'd like nothing more than a lengthy investigation during which Orange and T-Mobile are effectively paralysed in the UK market.