Telcos advise EU regulators on fiber networks rollout

The Commission is warned to avoid political deals with legacy operators

European regulators should focus on making the economics work for fiber rollout and avoid political deals with dominant firms, telecommunications companies said Wednesday.

Chief financial and operating officers from leading telcos met with European Commission representatives on Wednesday to discuss ways to promote investment in ultra-fast fiber networks. Such investment is essential if the Commission is to deliver on its target of half of consumers using 100Mbit-per-second connections by 2020.

Business leaders at the meeting said that a utility model in which a single fiber is installed and is open to competition is the best way to limit the costs and risks of investing in fiber. Several countries have experimented with models in which telcos co-invest with local authorities or specialists in infrastructure.

While there was agreement that there is a good business case for fiber if traffic is collected on one network, there was concern that incumbents lack the financial incentive to invest because in many cases they have been able to charge much higher rates for their legacy networks than it cost them to provide the service.

"Incumbents have had a real windfall from their legacy assets, but now is the time to wean them from relying forever on the networks they inherited from the days of public ownership. The Commission should make clear that the era of super-normal profits for copper is over -- it is time for incumbents to work with others and invest for the future," said Tom Ruhan, chairman of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA).

Companies also agreed that once an open fiber network is in place, customers should be migrated as quickly as possible to limit costs and ensure consumers benefit immediately from the additional capacity fiber has available.

"Incumbents will invest in fiber on their own or in a consortium if the business case stacks up and is more profitable than sweating their old network. Policymakers can stimulate investment through their approach to regulating wholesale charges, they can encourage consumers to take up fiber through strategies to switch off copper and they can promote efficient business models through financial instruments," said Ruhan.

ECTA represents the regulatory and commercial interests of new-entrant telecom operators, ISPs and suppliers of products and services to the communications industry.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationtelecommunication

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Secure and Save before time runs out with Bitdefender Exclusive Clearance Offer! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?