State of Implementation of the Regulatory Framework An Industry (Alternative Operator) Perspective (the 10-minute version)

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1 ECTA Regulatory Conference 2006 State of Implementation of the Regulatory Framework An Industry (Alternative Operator) Perspective (the 10-minute version) Yves Blondeel, T-REGS 17 November 2006 T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

2 Overview 1. Introduction: key objective of EU regulatory framework = competition 2. Primary legislation 3. Secondary regulations 4. Discussion of clusters of wholesale & retail markets (planned/skipped) 5. A few words on: consumer triple/quadruple (double quadruple) play business services 6. Alternative operators sentiment and messages to EU institutions 7. Q&A and discussion T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

3 Objectives of the Framework Success of the EU regulatory framework should be assessed on the basis of real results, i.e. achievement of the objectives set out in Art 8 of the Framework Directive From an alternative operator s self-interested perspective (but clearly supported by the phrasing of the Directive), the primary objective is the promotion of competition (Art 8.2) Examining the transposition process, primary legislation, secondary regulations, infringement proceedings, and the list in the Recommendation on Relevant Markets, is there substantive evidence of: Promotion of competition? (evidence ) Increased competition? (a little evidence ) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

4 Primary Legislation All Member States transposed Directives (achieved 2006; deadline was mid-2003) For alternative operators, the issue is maltransposition Distinguishing accidental and deliberate maltransposition Distinguishing trivial and serious maltransposition EC/ECJ must address all cases, but focus is needed on: NRA powers to carry out mandate under EU directives SMP analyses must cover ANY market with issues, no restrictions Full menu of remedies must be available to NRA without restrictions Ability for NRA to define alternative remedies without restrictions Effective appeals system Who has right to appeal? (not only SMP operator) Appeals role attributed in some cases to ill-equipped entities Delays incompatible with dynamic telecommunications industry T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

5 Secondary Regulations Many Member States still lack elementary secondary regulations and/or effectively implemented remedies (often cut&paste Access Dir) (3 ½ years after implementation deadline) For alternative operators, the issue is effectiveness Deregulation where sustainable, targeted regulation where needed EC/ECJ must address all cases, but focus is needed on: Numbering (VoIP numbering regulations conflicting with Directives) Number portability (availability, procedures, costs, avoid barrier to entry) Rights-of-way (availability, procedures, non-discrimination, fees) Carrying out market analysis, i.e. really putting it into practice In spite of 500+ notifications, the 1st round is still NOT complete Remedies are still often merely theoretical / cut & paste In many Member States, awaiting approval of reference offers, definition of cost-accounting systems/cost-models, margin-squeeze tests, timeframes for wholesale product launch, timeframes for migration processes, etc. (e.g. WLR) Issues being ignored (consumer triple/+quadruple play+, Ethernet for business) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

6 25 July 2003 (not 1 Jan 1998) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

7 Consumer triple/quad market What would be the market situation in the absence of regulation? (wholesale & retail) What would be the market situation if network-independent VoIP could develop on a pan-european or global basis if the current obstacles were removed? Is voice still a standalone product in a triple/double quad play environment? Quid market definitions? T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

8 Consumer triple/quad market What has been done (where it was effectively done)? Retail access: regulation maintained or reinforced (prohibition on unfair bundling) Retail calls: status-quo or phasing-out of regulation (price-caps going out of fashion) Wholesale (voice) access: regulation reinforced (WLR theory vs practice) Wholesale termination: regulation reinforced (altnets benefit more often than not) Wholesale transit: regulation maintained or slightly phased out Wholesale local loop unbundling: regulation reinforced ( no brainer?) Wholesale broadband access: regulation reinforced (but bitstream for IPTV??) Retail TV market: no assessment except NL Retail triple/quadruple/ double quadruple play market: no assessment (draft new Recommendation really surprising in dismissing this market reality) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

9 Voice Markets VoIP M I S S E D O P P O R T U N I T Y Retail Network-independent VoIP Regulatory classification PATS vs ECS vs Information Society Service major implications, including Obligations to provide access to emergency services (Correct) routing of emergency calls Consumer protection regulations Number portability In spite of European Commission (June 2004) and European Regulators Group statements (Feb 2005) Total lack of harmonisation of legislation, regulations, and of EU regulators positions, except for PC-to-PC only VoIP Numbering regulations Total lack of harmonisation of regulators positions Some allow use of geographic numbers, including for nomadic VoIP Some created special non-geographic number ranges for nomadic VoIP Economic regulation VoIP inside or outside relevant retail markets for access and calls? Lack of harmonisation of regulators positions (objective factors in play) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov M I S S E D O P P O R T U N I T Y

10 Business services market What would be the market situation in the absence of regulation? (wholesale & retail) What would be the market situation if xdsl and Ethernet access were recognised as substitutes of traditional interface leased lines? Quid market definitions? T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

11 Business services market What has been done (where it was effectively done)? Retail leased lines: regulation largely focused on defunct minimum set with (but buoyant market of retail xdsl / Ethernet replacements) Wholesale leased line terminating segments: regulation reinforced, but 2 (5?) out of 25 Member States recognised Ethernet as the essential new access product Wholesale leased line trunk segments: divergent and confused market definitions, SMP dependent on market definition (ranging from 12 network points per country to 5500 network points per country) On the whole, out of step with market reality T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

12 Alternative Operators Messages (1) Informal pressure by Commission on Member States can be effective (rarely for intentional maltransposition) Opening formal proceedings by Commission can be effective and has led to Member States addressing problems (rarely for intentional maltransposition, doubtful about effect in case of absence of secondary regulations or absence of market analyses) Less than 10 ECJ decisions on infringement proceedings; simply not enough to give a strong signal and to yield real effect EC/ECJ should focus on the market enabling/structuring issues, not on the easy wins. T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

13 Alternative Operators Messages (2) Single-minded focus by EU institutions remains needed to ensure that national legislation/regulation is in place that enables the achievement of effective competition on all levels of the value chain for electronic communications networks and services Member States / NRAs have been instructed by Commission to conduct market analyses, but little pressure has been exerted to ensure that the market analyses result, where SMP is found, in effective (rather than theoretical) regulatory interventions This single-minded focus should not be distracted by the 2006 Reviews (however important these are) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

14 17 Nov 2006 (2010+?) T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

15 Q&A and Discussion Yves Blondeel, T-REGS Telecoms Regulatory Expertise Europe Z.1 Research Park 310, B-1731 Zellik, Belgium Tel , Fax T-REGS Presentation ECTA Regulatory Conference 17 Nov

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