Price cuts ruled out for copper network access

The EC's digital agenda czar ruled out bringing in regulation to force down the price that telecom companies charge for access to their copper networks.

Aug 9th, 2012

As reported at EuropeanVoice.com, a European Commissioner has asserted that forcing large service providers to reduce the subscriber amount they charge for use of their copper networks would not help in the push for spreading high-speed broadband availability.

Neelie Kroes, the EC's digital agenda czar, ruled out bringing in regulation to force down the price that telecom companies charge for access to their copper networks. According to the report, in a move heralded by Europe's top telecoms firms, the Commissioner said that she had concluded that lowering charges would not encourage investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure.

“After examining all the evidence, and given the significant competitive relationship between copper and NGA [next-generation access and fiber] networks, we are not convinced that a phased decrease in copper prices would spur NGA investment,” Kroes said in a statement. She added, “Indeed, we now see fiber investment progressing relatively well in some member states where copper prices are around or above the EU average.”

The reporting, by EuropeanVoice's Ian Wishart, notes that smaller European telecom companies that lack their own network infrastructure and have to pay incumbent firms for access have long said that driving down charges was the only way to make companies invest in fiber-optic cabling. Incumbent service provider such as Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica have protested that rather than encouraging them to invest in fiber networks, forcing down copper prices would instead hit their profits and have the opposite effect.

Related Story: Telcos torn over FTTH vs. existing copper DSL lines

Full story:Kroes rules out price cuts for access to copper networks (europeanvoice.com)

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