Wednesday, December 19, 2012

State aid: Commission adopts new Broadband Guidelines

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press Release - State aid: Commission adopts new Broadband Guidelines: "The European Commission has adopted revised guidelines for the application of EU state aid rules to the broadband sector. These guidelines will help Member States achieve the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda. Taking into account the extensive submissions from all stakeholders, they contain in particular a reinforcement of open access obligations and improved transparency rules. They also follow the principles of the Commission's State Aid Modernisation (SAM) initiative, which aims at facilitating well-designed aid targeted at market failures in order to achieve growth-enhancing priorities, while simplifying the rules to allow for faster decisions." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

“Sender-pays” rule doesn’t necessarily increase telecom investment

“Sender-pays” rule doesn’t necessarily increase telecom investment | Ars Technica: ""My results contradict the hypothesis that the ability to charge more for international Internet traffic is all that is needed to build out telecommunications infrastructure in poor countries," Dourado concludes. "High international telephone collection rates have not led to greater buildout and adoption of telecommunications infrastructure in the past two decades. It seems unlikely, therefore, that adopting a sender-pays model for Internet traffic would increase buildout of Internet infrastructure today."
Rather, Dourado suggests the quality of a nation's telecommunications network is dependent on the quality of its domestic institutions. Some countries have telecommunications industries that efficiently put new revenues to work on network improvements. Other countries have corrupt or incompetent telecommunications incumbents that will upgrade their networks slowly no matter how much money they're given. He argues that regulatory reforms, not more cash, are needed to improve global network quality." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kroes: Balancing investment and competition in European broadband market

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press Release - Speech - Balancing investment and competition in European broadband market, Commissioner Kroes: "A framework that gives the right "buy or build" signals. To offer the stability and consistency needed for long-term investment. And all that without unnecessary intervention, without unduly constraining flexibility.
The 12 July package will secure truly equivalent access by alternative operators to incumbent networks. Because that is probably the most important guarantee of sustainable competition.
A true level playing field then allows us to focus on targeting regulation efficiently; and allowing for flexibility where that would encourage investment.
I am not talking about regulatory holidays. This is about giving investing operators the chance to experiment with prices of NGA products — but only as long as strong competitive safeguards are in place. In the face of uncertain demand, such flexibility is essential." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

OECD: Telcos Overcharging By Five Orders Of Magnitude

OECD report analyzed: "So where does all the money from this overcharging go? The telcos aren’t posting record profits. Most of the money from this overcharging goes to maintaining the old obsolete telco network, which is now being used to prevent the rollout of the Internet, which is vastly more efficient and isn’t top-down-controlled. A further lot of it goes to maintaining staff who haven’t changed to a net-centric way of thinking – unofficial but reliable sources tell us that Deutsche Telekom alone has a surplus of at least 100,000 employees.
"But it is not in the public interest to safeguard jobs that don’t provide value to society (if it were, we’d still be plowing the fields by hand and destroying Spinning Jennies). If we were able to align the telco industry with the public interest, the telco industry would be decimated in size, but next-generation entrepreneurs would be enabled, as would economic growth in new sectors. That’s in everybody’s interest. Well, everybody’s interest except the telco industry’s.  'via Blog this'

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Report on Telecommunication Market and Regulatory Developments

"On 18 June 2012, the European Commission published its report on the Telecommunication services, based on the implementation of the revised EU Telecom Framework (see IRIS 2009-6/6, IRIS 2009-1/5 and IRIS 2010-1/7). According to the report, four member states still need to implement the framework into their national laws (Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia). The Commission assesses the work and functioning of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs), the revenues and investment of the electronic communications sector, the status of the broadband connection, the voice and other e-communication services (including broadcasting), the EU Radio Spectrum policy programme and the consumer’s interest (including the issue of net neutrality)."

Concerning net neutrality, the Commission notes that member states have issued rules on transparency and quality of services while implementing the Telecom framework. Some members states have adopted guidelines or parliamentary resolution on the topic. Others have delegated to their NRAs the task of setting up a general approach in that field. The Netherlands is the only member state to have adopted a specific law on this issue (see IRIS 2012-7/32).
In conclusion of the report, the European Commission identifies several areas that need improvement (e.g. the functioning and independence of NRAs, the protection of consumer rights and the validity of specific tax on operators).

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crisis ahead for European mobile operators: data growth dangerously slow

Crisis ahead for European mobile operators: data growth dangerously slow, and network costs unhealthily low - Insight - News | Analysys Mason Group: "In our recently published Wireless network traffic worldwide: forecasts and analysis 2012–2017, Western Europe has the lowest growth rate in mobile data out of eight global regions. We forecast that mobile data in Western Europe will grow at a CAGR of just 29% from 2012 to 2017, equivalent to a growth multiple of 3.6. At a global level, we predict that mobile data will grow by a multiple of 5.5, equivalent to 41% CAGR, a little ahead of what we predict for Internet traffic as a whole." 'via Blog this'

Fixed broadband quarterly metrics 2Q 2012

Fixed broadband quarterly metrics 2Q 2012 - Data sets and trackers - Content | Analysys Mason Group: "Figure 1: Fixed broadband lines in service, by region, September 2001–June 2012 [Source: Analysys Mason, 2012] 'via Blog this'Figure 1: Fixed broadband lines in service, by region, September 2001–June 2012 [Source: Analysys Mason, 2012]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

EC asks Finnish telecoms regulator to improve access conditions to fibre network

Europe's Newsroom - Commission asks Finnish telecoms regulator to improve access conditions to fibre network: "The European Commission has called on the Finnish telecoms regulator (FICORA) to amend or withdraw its proposal on regulated access to dominant operators' broadband networks. If implemented, FICORA's plans would damage competition and hamper investment in competitive broadband services. This could limit current and future offers available to consumers and businesses. This is the third time that the Commission has issued a formal recommendation under Article 7a of the Telecoms Directive." 'via Blog this'

EC public consultation on revision of recommendation on relevant markets

FICORA - European Commission launched a public consultation on the revision of the recommendation on relevant markets: "On 16 October 2012, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the revision of the recommendation on relevant markets which was last updated in 2007.
The recommendation identifies the markets which are relevant for significant market power and which the National Regulatory Authorities regularly have to review. Relevant markets are markets which are susceptible to ex ante regulation and crucial for Europe's competitiveness.
Consultations are particularly sought from public authorities, Member States, the electronic communications industry, research institutions and universities, and consumer advocacy groups. Other interested parties are also invited to submit their contributions.
The public consultation is open until 8 January 2013. Further information about the consultation and how to submit contributions is available in English on the Commission website." 'via Blog this'

US supreme court finalizes gift of spying immunity to the telecom giants

US supreme court finalizes gift of immunity to the telecom giants | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | "When civil liberties groups sued the telecoms on behalf of their customers whose communications had been illegally accessed by the government, federal courts began ruling against the telecoms, holding that the immunity they already had under the law would be unavailable to them, because the allegations against them amounted to knowing, deliberate violations of the law. As one federal judge put it in refusing to dismiss a lawsuit against AT&T: "AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal."" 'via Blog this'

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Net neutrality in Europe: Response to European further network neutrality co...

Net neutrality in Europe: Response to European further network neutrality co...: Dear sirs I am writing to reply to your “On-line public consultation on "specific aspects of transparency, traffic management and switch...

Regulatory Asymmetry? The Competition Between Telcos and Other ICT Players

Regulatory Asymmetry? The Competition Between Telecommunication Operators and Other ICT Players: "Jnl of Euro Competition Law & Practice Volume 3, Issue 5, Pp. 452-464. Laurent De Muyter*: "Under EU law, telecommunication operators must open their main resources (networks) to service providers including other ICT providers under far reaching and sometimes conceptually inconsistent conditions. But they have limited access to the resources operated by the latter (content, data, handset, software). This distorts competition, hampers network related investments, and makes high bids less plausible in future spectrum auctions." 'via Blog this'

Recent Uk competition cases in telecoms

"The Application of Competition Law in the Communications and Media Sector: A Survey of 2010 Cases: Journal of European Competition Law & Practice first published online May 15, 2011"
'via Blog this'Recent UK competition cae

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ETNO's WCIT proposals are not as bad as some say, they're worse

ENDitorial: The ETNO's WCIT proposals are not as bad as some say | EDRI: " ETNO's proposals would squeeze every ounce of innovation and competition out of global Internet networks. Goodbye Internet, hello Minitel.
The concept sounds quite friendly and just a little esoteric: “Sending party pays” (SPP). That sounds fair, until you realise that the sending party already pays. It sounds fair until you realise that SPP has always been the principle in the mobile world, and the result of this principle is tens of billions of Euro wasted by citizens on untransparent, unjustified and, frequently, unjustifiable charges. Years of regulatory action has finally led to the most egregious of these problems finally being solved in Europe." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

British Telecom could be overcharging taxpayer £100ms for rural broadband

British Telecom could be overcharging taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds - Telegraph: "according to a leaked Whitehall briefing, officials at the Culture, Media and Sport department have been told the broadcasting giant is charging a mark up of up to 80 per cent to introduce faster broadband in rural parts of the country. The document, compiled in the summer by a consultant who was working with the department, accuses BT of using “pseudo wholesale” figures to justify its costs. Experts said that if the forecasts are correct, BT's subsidy could be cut by £400million and £500million and still produce the same result. Experts say it could mean that home owners in rural parts of the country have to overpay through their council tax bills for the faster broadband.
Last night Margaret Hodge MP, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said she was shocked by The Telegraph’s disclosures and said her committee would examine the claims as part of a new inquiry." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Role and procedures of BEREC

Role and procedures of BEREC: "Articles 7 and 7a of the Framework Directive the findings of market definition, SMP assessment and – if applicable - the proposed remedies have to be notified to the Commission and other NRAs. The aim of this EU notification, the so-called Article 7 procedure, is to contribute to the development of a single market in electronic communications by ensuring co-operation among NRAs, and between NRAs and the Commission.
Once an NRA notifies the Commission of its proposed measure the case is assessed by the Commission within one month. At the end of this period and provided that the notified measure does not raise “serious doubts” as to its compatibility with EU law, the Commission may decide to comment. Regulators should take account of these comments before adopting the draft measure in question. When the Commission expresses serious doubts and opens a so-called Phase II, its investigation period is extended for two months more in the Article 7 cases, or for three months more in the Article 7a investigations. If this situation occurs, BEREC has to issue an opinion,,," 'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 04, 2012

House of Lords - Broadband for all - an alternative vision

House of Lords - Broadband for all - an alternative vision - Communications Committee: "In our view, the benefits of opening up the restrictions on PIA are likely to be significant, particularly were policy to be re-oriented towards the establishment of open access fibre-optic hubs, as we advocate. Removing the restrictions on PIA may, of course, have knock-on effects for the effectiveness and coherence of other aspects of the overall regulatory edifice...234. ...since May 2011, Ofcom has had the power by virtue of Article 12 of the Revised EU Framework Directive, transposed into UK law, to impose regulatory obligations with regard to infrastructure sharing in the broadband market without reference to SMP." 'via Blog this'

Monday, July 30, 2012

Network access charges imposed by BT unjustified, Court of Appeal rules

Network access charges imposed by BT on rivals were unjustified, Court of Appeal rules: "The Court rejected claims by BT that the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) had not acted in accordance with EU telecoms laws when it considered whether what it had charged rivals was acceptable. Instead it ruled that BT's prices had served to distort the market to the detriment of its rivals and consumers.
Virgin Media and Cable & Wireless were among the telecoms firms that had challenged whether BT had breached charging restrictions imposed on it by the UK's telecoms regulator.
Ofcom had conducted an investigation into the 'partial private circuits' (PPCs) market in 2004." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Margin squeeze modelling can be simple or complicated, but never trivial

Margin squeeze modelling can be simple or complicated, but never trivial - Analysys Mason Group: "The legal work surrounding margin (or price) squeeze allegations is extensive and complex. However, in these cases some kind of margin squeeze model will be used, which will form the foundation to prove or disprove the legal case. The margin squeeze model will present the underlying numerical comparison of costs, prices (revenue) and profit margins relevant to the business situation being tested. Margin squeeze models can be simple or complicated, and the choices made will always be argued to fit the case in question. These choices (which we structure as scale, scope, financial test and cost/price principles) strongly affect the complexity of the margin model, its inputs, assumptions, calculations and outputs" 'via Blog this'

Article 7a of the EU telecoms Framework Directive

Article 7a of the EU telecoms Framework Directive: first thoughts on second guessing a second guess - Newsletter – Analysys Mason Quarterly - News | Analysys Mason Group: "Commission has recently issued a significant number of 7a 'Phase 2' letters. Each of these requires BEREC to respond within six weeks. Insiders have told us that this is placing a significant burden on the NRAs (which provide the manpower to BEREC); given the restricted duration, the process requires NRA experts to make decisions (about whether they agree with the draft BEREC approach) within days, even if the relevant expert in that NRA is on leave or fully busy in their own country. Many NRAs do not have sufficient resources to contribute fully.
Secondly, BEREC has always agreed with the Commission – until last month, when it disagreed with half of the Commission's reasoning in a case related to mobile termination in France. This is probably a positive development overall, showing that the system of 'checks and balances' can work. Nevertheless, BEREC is making rapid decisions about issues that are important and have wider implications than the narrow cases involved, which could lead to bad precedents being set." 'via Blog this'

Friday, July 20, 2012

Brussels backs down on telecoms pricing -

Brussels backs down on telecoms pricing - "Investors in large telecoms groups had feared further pressure on revenues amid need to spend more on fibre networks. Nick Delfas, analyst at Morgan Stanley, said the proposals remove the potential negative of falling prices and should help build investor confidence over time.
Kroes said the new policy aimed to boost the investment in fibre networks for fast internet connections by allowing incumbent telecom groups to maintain charges for access to their existing copper infrastructure and so guaranteeing stable returns." 'via Blog this'

Monday, June 25, 2012

EC challenges regulatory remedies: Netherlands wholesale call termination / Denmark wholesale SMS MT

From T-Regs: The European Commission has, for the first time, 'proceeded all the way' through the Art 7a FD procedure and has formally issued a Recommendation to an NRA requiring it to amend or withdraw proposed regulatory obligations ('remedies'). The case at hand concerns the OPTA (Netherlands) notification for wholesale fixed call termination and wholesale mobile call termination.
The European Commission's press release is accessible via: 
OPTA has also issued a press release, accessible via:

Update 25 June 2012: The European Commission's Recommendation has been published: European Commission Recommendation C(2012) 3770 in Case NL/2012/1284

Friday, May 04, 2012

Diplomatic Arm-Wrestling Over Scope Of WCIT (ITU Treaty)

Diplomatic Arm-Wrestling Over Scope Of International Telecommunication Regulations Treaty | Intellectual Property Watch: "Among the hotly debated high-level issues was that if ITU recommendations become mandatory instead of voluntary. This could shift ITU standards into quasi-legal norms and give them privileges over standards from other standardization bodies. Yet the 47-member European regional group, represented by the Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et des Télécommunications (CEPT, one of six regional groups at ITU), warned the ITR could “not be used to change the non-binding nature of ITU recommendations.” Other issues of contention are additional provisions on security, from anti-spam provisions to the obligation to provide a calling line identification (CLI), potentially also for internet telephony, to allow tracking misuse. 
Internet telephony using SIP protocol is seen by some ITU member states as siphoning off revenues from classic telephony providers, as a statement by Iran’s ITU representative made clear. African countries want to see cost-based transit, termination, and roaming rates, transparency, and an effort from member states to act against asymmetries of charging. The US favours a completely hands-off approach, and Europe is trying to get compromise on administrations pushing for economic efficiency, competition and price transparency for customers.
Compromise about the paragraph on charging for international telecommunication services given the diametrically opposed proposals, on one hand leave charging to the market (as proposed by the US and also CEPT) versus having regulators involved in the pricing on the other hand (as proposed by the Arab states, but also Russia) are still on the to-do list for the last prep meeting in June. From the point of view of the IP address managers, what is even more scary are considerations with regard to state intervention on routing. 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 23, 2012

Europe's Broadband Implementation Strategy

Europe's Information Society Newsroom: "Commission has now published a Staff Working Document. It summarises the current state of play in national broadband plans and fosters a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge on good practices between countries by assembling examples of national implementation measures."
'via Blog this'