Thursday, 28 July 2011

Malta's NRA concludes most parts on GO's RUO and consults on sub-loops

MCA has decided on GO's RUO and consults further on aspects of the Reference Offer for access to the sub-loop (see the document).

French NRA consults on MVC

ARCEP launched a consultation regarding Mobile Communications on board Vessels (see the press release, in french).

OFCOM cosults on Arqiva's multiplex licenses renewals

OFCOM provides its draft decision to renew Arqiva's multiplex c and d licenses and seeks for comments.

CJEU decides on Mediaset case

The CJEU upholded in its decision in Case C-403/10 P, the General Court's findings which in turn vindicated the Commission in establishing that the aid given by Italia as regards digital decodes, constiuted illegal aid.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Greek NRA consults on the 900 and 1800 MHz auction tender

EETT has made public the draft tender (in greek) concerning its auction and refarming process in the 900 and 1800 MHz (see the press release, in greek, along with the annexes, in greek, and a summary of the draft tender).

German Competition Authority's draft merger control guidance

Bundeskartellampt consults on its draft guidance on merger control (see the press release).

Italian NRA consults on networks data base for consumers

AGCOM has put under consulation (in italian) its scheme for the development of a database containing all networks in order to assist, amongs other objectives, consumers making informed choices.

Co-ordination on frequencies between Ireland and the UK

Ireland and the UK have agreed to co-ordinate on the 880-915, 9125-960, 1710-1785, 1805-1880 MHz(see the relevant page with the relative MOUs).

Moldova's NRA puts number portability regime in place

ANRCETI stated its intent to put number portability in place by the end of 2011 for fixed telephony and by the end of 2012 for mobile (see the press release).

Romanian NRA postpones the development of BWA systems in the 3400 – 3800 MHz bands for 2014

ANCOM announced it will proceed to the development of Broadband Wireless Access systems in the 3400 – 3800 MHz in 2014 instead of 2012 (see the press release).

French NRA calls for candidates to apply for the 800 and 2600 MHz auctions

ARCEP calls for candidates to apply for the 800 and 2600 MHz auctions. The former will take place on 15 December 2011 and the latter on 15 September 2011 (see the press release, in french).

France Telecom issues Reference Offer for Access to FttH and co-invests with Free

France Telecom, as dictated by ARCEP's relative decision, has issued its decision concerning its Reference Offer for Access to its FttH network.

In addition, FT and Free decided on a co-investment FttH scheme (see ARCEP's press release, in french).

Monday, 25 July 2011

Ruling on the Telefónica case concerning administrative fees

The CJEU ruled, in Case C-284/10, that "Article 6 of Directive 97/13 must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State introducing a fee imposed on holders of general authorisations, calculated annually and on the basis of the gross operating income of the chargeable operators, which seeks to cover the administrative costs relating to the issue, management, control and enforcement of those authorisations, to the extent that the combined revenue received by that Member State by way of such a fee does not exceed all of those administrative costs, which is a matter for the national court to ascertain" (para 35).

The Court noted in its judgment "...that Directive 97/13 merely states, in Articles 6 and 11, that the fees imposed on holders of general authorisations and holders of individual licences may ‘seek only’ to cover the administrative costs incurred respectively in the issue, management, control and enforcement of the applicable general authorisations scheme or the individual licences. Secondly, while the second sentence of Article 11(1) of that directive expressly provides that the amount of the fee claimed must be proportionate to the work involved (see, to that effect, i-21 Germany and Arcor, paragraph 39), it is important on the other hand to note that Article 6 does not impose the requirement of a proportionate relationship between the fee applicable to general authorisations granted to a chargeable operator and the work involved in the issue, management, control and enforcement of those general authorisations for that operator (para 29).

...As regards whether Member States may impose on holders of general authorisations an annual fee aimed at defraying administrative costs, it must be noted that holders of general authorisations may be made liable to pay a fee to cover, in addition to the costs of issuing the general authorisation, the administrative costs incurred in the management, control and enforcement of the authorisation during its period of validity. These are costs incurred in activities which are, as a general rule, carried out continuously after the grant of a general authorisation. Accordingly, Article 6 of Directive 97/13 does not preclude holders of general authorisations being charged, periodically, a fee aimed at covering the administrative costs relating to the general authorisations procedures, such as the annual fee at issue in the main proceedings" (para 31).

Friday, 22 July 2011

Portuguese NRA's draft mutli-band auction Regulation and decision on the limitation of rights

ANACOM has made public its draft Regulation of the auction to allocate rights of use of frequencies in the 450 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands (see the press release) and its Decision on the limitation of rights of use of frequencies in the 450 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands (see the press release).

Irish NRA's PRS draft code and further consultation

ComReg has made public its draft Premium Rates Services draft code, revising the previous one and launched a further consultation on the subject (see also the Regulatory Impact Assessment, the Qualitative and the Quantitative Research).

Thursday, 21 July 2011

OFCOM's final determination on the dispute between Opal/BSkyB and Openreach on LLU charges

"The Disputes relate to the Local Loop Unbundling (“LLU”) charges levied by Openreach (a BT Group business) (“Openreach”) between 20 June 2009 and 14 October 2010 (the “relevant period”)...OFCOM has decided that it should not exercise its discretion to require Openreach to pay sums to Opal and Sky" (see the final determination).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Slovenian NRA on its proposed implementation of access obligations

"The current notification concerns the implementation of the access obligation imposed on operators with SMP...in the markets for origination, transit, termination, physical infrastructure access, broadband access and wholesale leased lines". The Commission in its decision, made the following comments to APEK:

"Legal nature of the measure and need to ensure legal certainty

The Commission notes that APEK intends to specify the wholesale access obligations imposed on operators with SMP by means of a Recommendation. However, APEK does not specify by which procedure this Recommendation would then be applied in order to enforce details of the access obligations. In particular, a non-binding legal measure such as a Recommendation may not provide operators (SMP and non-SMP operators) with a means to rely on in courts when defending the legality of their access request and any refusal of access requests respectively. Therefore, the choice of a Recommendation to specify access obligations does not ensure the necessary level of legal certainty needed by operators with regard to access rights.

Against this background, in order to promote regulatory efficiency, transparency, legal certainty and non-discrimination the Commission urges APEK to specify the details of the access obligation in a legally binding measure. APEK may specify those access conditions either within the procedure of supervision and approval of the relevant Reference Offers or by means of a decision complementing APEK's decisions imposing the access obligation on SMP operators".

Law Commission set to review the UK Eletcronic Communications Code

The Electronic Communications Code which governs the rights of electronic communications network providers to install and maintain infrastructure on public and private land will be review by the Law Commission under its Eleventh Programme of Law Reform (see dcms' press release as well).

OFCOM's charge control on NTS and PRS

OFCOM issued its charge control decision as regards Number Translation Services (NTS) and Premium Rate Services (PRS).

UK NRA's WBA charge control for Market 1

OFCOM issued its decision on the wholesale broadband access charge control to be imposed upon BT as regards Market 1 (exchange areas in which BT is currently the only provider of wholesale broadband services).

Maltese authority consults on wholesale fixed transit services in the public telephone network

MCA has launched a consultation concerning its review of the wholesale transit services in the public telephone network provided at fixed locations (see the press release).

Belgian regulators adopt final decisions on broadcasting and broadband markets

Belgian regulators retained their position even after the Commission's Art. 7 Comments (see the relative post) as regards their review of the broadband and broadcasting markets (see the press release in english available in BIPT's site).

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Infringement proceedings instigated against 20 Member States for non transposition of the telecoms package

Letters of Formal Notice have been sent to 20 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) by the European Commission for not transposing in due time (25 MAY 2011) the Better Regulation and Citizens Rights Directives (see the press release). As mentioned in older posts, this was an anticipated action since most States are quite behind in getting the new rules trasposed into their national legal order.

Monday, 18 July 2011

OFCOM's final determination on the dispute between DRL/Thales and BT's Openreach on SLU charges

OFCOM found that BT was not entitled to set the charges it set on three of its sub-loop unbundling products to DRL/Thales and thus adjusted accordingly the charges and ordered the recovery of the difference for the latter party (see the final determination).

US digital switch-over

The FCC's second report & order came to set September 2015 the point of complete transition to DTV.

KKR acquisition of Versatel approved

The European Commission did not oppose the KKR/Versatel concentration (see the notice).

Art. 29 WP's Opinion on the definition of consent

Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has released its Opinion on the definition of consent.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the French NRA on its review of the markets of retail fixed access, fixed call origination and termination

The European Commission, in its decision, made the following comments to ARCEP on the latter's review of the markets of access to the public telephone network at a fixed location for residential and nonresidential customers, fixed call origination and fixed call termination:

"Migration towards IP interconnection

The Commission welcomes the obligation imposed on the SMP operator to provide IP interconnection at a reduced number of interconnection points on request. In this respect, the Commission invites ARCEP to specify clear migration rules in order to encourage a timely migration towards IP interconnection.

Recoupment of costs


ARCEP explains that costs no longer recovered through the termination fee could eventually be recouped through other (wholesale) products. Although the treatment of costs previously recovered on the call termination market will be subject to a new public consultation, it appears that this cost-recovery would most probably occur on the (regulated) call origination market.

The Commission is deeply concerned that shifting costs from the wholesale call termination market to another regulated wholesale market may create additional barriers to enter the retail telephony market, thus hindering competition. The Commission reminds ARCEP that due to the two-sided nature of call termination markets, not all related termination costs must necessarily be recovered from the wholesale charge levied on the originating operator. Terminating operators normally have the ability to recover their costs from non-regulated retail services offered in competitive markets.

Against this background, the Commission urges ARCEP in the context of the forthcoming public consultation to specify the products on which costs no longer recovered on the call termination market would be recouped. In case those costs are proposed to be recouped on the call origination or other regulated markets, ARCEP must explain why and justify that those costs cannot be recouped on competitive markets. Furthermore, the Commission urges ARCEP to explain how the reallocation of those costs on the call origination market could not be discriminatory with respect to both the incumbent and alternative operators.

The Commission notes that although PSTN based-costs are considered inefficient for the provision of call termination services, ARCEP may, however, allow their recoupment on other (regulated) wholesale markets, which is contrary to the Termination Rates Recommendation according to which other (inefficiently incurred) costs should be recouped on non-regulated retail services.

The Commission requests ARCEP to carefully consider its approach with respect to the reallocation of PSTN costs and align it with the principles of the Termination Rates Recommendation.

Notification of amendments to the price control obligations

ARCEP plans to launch a new regulatory project on the treatment of costs no longer recovered on the fixed call termination market. This project is due to be finalised before the end of 2011 (i.e. before the 2012 wholesale tariffs become applicable) so that its result could be taken into consideration when setting FT's future tariffs.

In this respect it should be recalled that price control constitutes a regulatory obligation referred to in Article 16 of the Framework Directive and has an effect on trade between Member States. Price control related remedies are therefore required to be notified under Article 7(3) in conjunction with Recital 15 of the Framework Directive.

Also, according to the Commission Recommendation on notifications, time limits and consultations provided for in Article 7 of the Framework Directive, price levels and amendments to the methodologies used to calculate costs or prices are considered to be material changes to the nature or scope of a remedy that have an appreciable impact on the market and should therefore be notified to the European Commission under the standard notification procedure.

The Commission therefore invites ARCEP to notify this new regulatory project under the Article 7 consultation procedure".

Italian NRA sets Telecom Italia's offer on call orgination, termination and transit under consultation

AGCOM launched a consultation (in italian) regarding the approval of TI's offer on its call origintaion, termination and transit services.

UK gambling laws to be revised

"All gambling operators selling into the British market - whether based in the UK or abroad - will have to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission, under plans announced today by John Penrose, Minister responsible for gambling policy and regulation" (see dcms' press release).

Prior notification of Carlyle/Gores Broadband concentration

The European Commission received a prior notification of Carlyle Group's intended acquisition of Gores Broadband.

Commission launches consultation on notification of personal data breaches

"The Commission wants to gather input based on existing practice and initial experience with the new telecoms rules and may then propose additional practical rules to make clear when breaches should be reported, the procedures for doing so, and the formats that should be used...Under the revised ePrivacy Directive, when a personal data breach occurs, the provider has to report this to a specific national authority, usually the national data protection authority or the communications regulator. Also, the provider has to inform the concerned individual directly. To ensure consistent implementation of the data breach rules across Member States, the ePrivacy Directive allows the Commission to propose 'technical implementing measures' – practical rules to complement the existing legislation – on the circumstances, formats and procedures for the notification requirements" (see the press release)" (see the press release).

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Newscorp backs down from acquiring BSkyB

Newscorp backs down from BSkyB proposed acquisition (see bbc.co.uk)

Greek TV and Radio Council issues guidance on the law transposing the AVMS Directive

Greek National Council for Radio and Television issued its guidelines 1-2011 (in greek), providing guidance on the implementation and interpretation of the Presidential Decree 109/2010 which transposed the codified AVMS Directive.

BSkyB/News Corporation merger referred to the Competition Commission

Following Newscorp's withdrawal of the undertakings offerred, the Secretary of dcms referred the proposed merger to the Competition Commission (see dcms press release).

Monday, 11 July 2011

Irish NRA concludes its review of the WBA market

ComReg has concluded its review of the Wholesale Broadband Access market.

Transposition of the telecoms package by Ireland

Comreg issued an information notice stating that Ireland has transposed the telecoms package as the new regulations were published on 1 July 2011.

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Greek NRA on the latter's review of markets 4 and 5

The European Commission, in its decision (in greek), addressed to EETT as regards the latter's review of the physical network infrastrucure and the wholesale broadband access markets, noted that EETT's intention to require from OTE to make available to alternative operators its NGA product three months before its commercial retail offer, is not in line with the NGA Recommendation which suggests that a 6 months period should be normally set.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Italian NRA issues draft regulation and launches consultation on breach of IP rights via the Internet

AGCOM has published a draft regulation and launched a consultation as regards violation of copyright via the internet (see the press release).

German NRA's proposal for new interconnection rates

BNetzA has published its proposal as regards DT's new interconnection rates. "The newly determined charges are based on a comparison of the rates applied in European markets" (see the press release).

German NRA's draft consultation on the frequency allotment study on the 900-MHz range

"The four mobile network operators active on the German market are equipped with competitive frequencies enabling them to operate sophisticated, broadband, wireless infrastructures in line with their business models. This is the conclusion (in german) reached by the Bundesnetzagentur in its draft consultation on the frequency allotment study on the 900-MHz range published today. With the possible use of the GSM frequencies after 2016 in mind when the assignments expire, the Bundesnetzagentur also published a key elements paper (in german) for consultation to determine the future frequency requirements in the ranges 900 MHz and 1800 MHz" (see the press release).

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Italian NRA on the latter's remedies in the PNIA market

The European Commission, in its decision, made the following comments to AGCOM on the latter's proposed remedies in the physical network infrastrucure access market:

"Choice of proportionate and justified access remedies

The Commission notes that AGCOM does not impose fibre unbundling. AGCOM considers the imposition of the e2e wholesale access service as the only access solution which is both technically viable and equivalent to the traditional copper unbundling service at the local exchange given that TI deploys a GPON network.

The Commission also takes note that AGCOM will consider further solutions for fibre unbundling in GPON networks such as unbundling of fibre based on WDM technologies.

The Commission reminds AGCOM that according to Recommend 23 of the NGA Recommendation NRAs should mandate unbundled access to the fibre loop irrespective of the network architecture and technology implemented by the SMP operator.

In this respect the Commission reiterates its position expressed in the context of cases IT/2009/0988-0989 that market analysis and the choice of remedies must be forward-looking especially since AGCOM recognizes that the migration process of Telecom Italia towards an NGA network, which is today at an early stage of roll-out, will have a considerable impact on the markets during the reference period of this analysis. Access to passive infrastructure and VULA over optical fibres would not be sufficient to safeguard effective competition.

Accordingly, the Commission calls on AGCOM to re-assess the need, in line with Article 8 of the Access Directive as well as Recommend 22 of the NGA Recommendation, to impose, already for the time frame of the current market review, an obligation to mandate physical unbundling of existing fibre lines where technically feasible.

At the same time, the obligation to provide the e2e-service encompasses a buildout obligation which may only be justified as a proportionate access remedy in the absence of the availability of access to the fibre already built out by TI. In view of this, the Commission stresses that the e2e service remedy should be considered as a transitional measure only, until fibre unbundling becomes a technically viable solution. In the long run, fibre unbundling may allow access seekers full and direct control over end-users, in a less burdensome manner. The Commission therefore invites AGCOM to reassess the need to impose the e2e service and to re-analyse the proportionality of all viable access remedies without delay, as soon as access to the unbundled fibre becomes a technically viable solution.

Further, for the transitional period, i.e. before fibre unbundling is available in a GPON context, the Commission invites AGCOM to provide in its final measure additional elements showing that an obligation to provide the e2e service is justified also in those cases where the access seeker demanded such service outside of the so-called "planning mechanism". In any event, the Commission underlines that it can fully assess the proportionality of the e2e service only once the latter's implementation details, in particular as regards the pricing methodology, are determined by AGCOM.

Need to appropriately assess the differences in competitive conditions between geographic areas in the broadband access market

The Commission notes that on the WBA market AGCOM proposes to differentiate remedies according to differences in the competitive conditions between two geographic areas, i.e., areas characterised by infrastructure competition and those without. Such areas will be defined at a later stage, on the basis of presence of operators in the given areas.

With regard to the forthcoming decision on the differentiation of remedies the Commission recalls that NRAs should in principle impose cost orientation on mandated wholesale broadband access products. However, the NGA Recommendation also sets out criteria under which the removal of the costorientation obligation would be justified. This is only the case where the NRA is in a position to conclude on the existence of sufficient competitive constraints on the SMP operator’s downstream arm.

Such competitive constraints may, in given geographic areas, be the result of effective access to the physical infrastructure which results in effective competition on the downstream level and may, therefore, justify the partial removal of the remedies on the wholesale broadband access market in these areas. Such sufficient competitive constraints at the retail level may also be the result of functional separation and/or co-investment.

Therefore, the Commission invites AGCOM to take account of the above elements in its forthcoming consultation on a differentiation of remedies in the wholesale broadband access market.

Need for transparency and coherence in the notification of remedies under the EU consultation procedure

The Commission notes that AGCOM is considering carrying out an EUconsultation with regard to the forthcoming BU-LRIC model together with the geographical areas within which it is planned to apply the model.

In this regard the Commission recalls that any material changes to remedies, such as the withdrawal of a remedy in geographic areas, constitutes an amendment of regulatory obligations referred to in Article 16(4) of the Framework Directive and could have an effect on trade between Member States. Therefore, the Commission asks AGCOM to notify under Article 7(3) of the Framework Directive the draft measures concerning the forthcoming decision on the definition of geographical areas and differentiation of remedies.

Finally, the Commission recalls that under the Commission Recommendation on notifications, time limits and consultations provided for in Article 7 of the Framework Directive, price levels and methodologies used to calculate costs or prices, are considered to be material changes to the nature or scope of a remedy that have an appreciable impact on the market and should therefore be notified under Article 7. The Commission therefore also asks AGCOM to carry out an EU consultation with regard to the forthcoming decision on the BU-LRIC model".

Belgian NRA's draft decision on co-existence of radars and 4g

BIPT has issued a draft decision "to ensure coexistence between aeronautical radars of Belgocontrol and of the Ministry of Defence in the 2700-2900 MHz frequency band on the one hand and the use of the 2500-2690 MHz band by 4G operators1 on the other".

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Commision's Art. 7 Comments to the Greek NRA on the latter's review of market 1

The European Commission, in its decision, had just minor comments to make to EETT as regards the latetr's review of the market of access to the public telephone network at a fixed location for residential and non-residential customers.

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Belgian NRA on the retail delivery of broadcasting signals and access to broadcast networks markets

The European Commission, in its decision, made numerous comments to the CRC regarding the latter's identification, market definition and analysis of the retail market for the delivery of broadcasting signals and that of access to broadcast networks. For the detailed comments you are advised to check the decision itself since many issues are discussed and in fact the Commission states as regards the absence of market analysis of the wholesale market to block the measure for breaching EU law.

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Belgian NRA on the latter's review of market 4 and 5

The European Commission, in its decision, made the following comments to CRC on the latter's review of the physical network infrastructure access market and of the wholesale broadband access market:

"Withdrawal of the SLU obligation

CRC proposes to withdraw the SLU obligation. It maintains, in this regard, that Belgacom has been upgrading its VDSL technology and achieving higher speeds through vectoring, a technology which is rendered ineffective by SLU. CRC sustains,moreover, that the economic viability of SLU is extremely limited and that there is neither current nor prospective demand for SLU.

In a scenario where FTTC is being actively rolled out - 76% of the Belgian households have already been equipped with VDSL2 and 85% are expected to be so by 2013 -, and where the dismantling of local exchanges is expected to have an impact on 40% of the current LLU lines, the withdrawal of the SLU obligation will lead to a situation where, as long as FTTH networks are not rolled out, access seekers will not be able to unbundle the local loop or sub-loop and will be, to a great extent, fully dependant on the Bitstream product made available by Belgacom and thus stranded in a lower rung of the ladder of investment.

This is all the most important in a scenario where retail prices in Belgium remain distinctively higher than those of its neighbouring countries and where competition by alternative DSL operators remains rather weak.

The Commission recalls, in this regard, that in accordance with the principles established in the NGA Recommendation, whenever SMP is found in the WPNIA market, NRAs should, as a matter of principle, impose an appropriate set of remedies which includes, in case of FTTC deployment, unbundled access to the copper sub-loop.

The Commission acknowledges, however, that in casu there appears to be sufficient evidence to sustain that it is neither justified nor proportional to impose such remedy, since there is currently a lack of demand for SLU products and the imposition of such remedy could hamper the NGA investment strategy of Belgacom and thus run counter to the need to promote and ensure sustainable investment in the development of high-speed networks. The Commission also acknowledges CRC´s assertion that LLU is not likely to become unavailable during the period of the current market review and that access seekers will, in any case, when provided with Bitstream services, also benefit from the increased performances delivered by vectoring. Furthermore, according to CRC, Belgacom must offer a fully fledged Bitstream product which allows alternative operators to effectively differentiate their products at retail level. Finally, the Commission also recognises that CRC is committed to monitor technological and market
evolution in order to continuously assess the appropriateness of the withdrawal of
the SLU remedy.

The Commission nevertheless invites CRC to monitor the market, namely the evolution on the dismantling of LEXs by Belgacom and the implementation of VDSL2, and also the array of remedies imposed, in order to ensure that in the current transition to NGA competition is safeguarded and new bottlenecks are avoided in the broadband markets.

Competitive pressure by cable operators

Even if cable networks are not part of the relevant WBA market, the Commission notes that cable operators exert, at retail level, a certain degree of competitive pressure. Such competitive pressure may vary over different areas of the Belgian market. The Commission invites CRC to consider whether such competitive pressure, in conjunction with the proposed physical access remedies, could warrant reducing the intensity of downstream regulation in certain areas".

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Hungarian NRA on the latter's review of the mobile call termination market

The European Commission, in its decision, made the following comments to NMHH on the latter's review of the mobile call termination market:

Need for a consistent European approach for termination rates

The Commission notes that the cost based target level is not yet imposed by NMHH by the notified draft measure, as it is only announced for January 2014, as a result of the next market analysis, depending on the situation in the market. This is not in line with the Commission’s Termination Rates Recommendation, according to which NRAs should ensure that termination rates are implemented at a cost-efficient level by the end of 2012. While recognising NMHH’s efforts to minimise business and regulatory uncertainty flowing from a strong decrease in MTRs, the Commission reminds NMHH that the timeframe for implementing the Recommendation aims to ensure not only sustainability of the sector but also maximum benefits to consumers as soon as possible, by eliminating competitive distortions associated with above-cost termination rates. Moreover, the Commission would like to stress that it has in the past clearly stated its policy as regards the regulation of termination rates on numerous occasions (both under the Article 7 procedure and by asking national regulators to work together towards a coherent cost-based approach to regulating termination rates), thus allowing NRAs to gradually reduce termination rates and avoid excessively steep glidepaths at the end of the transition.

Against this background, the Commission urges NMHH to reconsider the proposed glide-path and align it with the deadline provided for in the Termination Rates Recommendation (i.e. 31 December 2012)".

Commission's Art. 7 Comments to the Italian NRA on the latter's review of the mobile call termination market

The European Commission, in its decision, made the following comments to AGCOM on the latter's 3rd review of the mobile call termination market:

Delayed imposition of cost orientation and high levels of MTRs in Italy

The Commission notes that AGCOM proposes to implement cost oriented MTRs only as of 1 January 2015, i.e. 2 years after the date set in the Commission's Termination Rates Recommendation. The Commission takes note of AGCOM's view that the proposed 3-year's glide path towards cost orientation should only start on 1 January 2012. However, this proposal is not in line with the, in the Commission`s Recommendation envisaged, transition period (until 31 December 2012), by which national regulators are to implement the recommended cost model and set MTRs at a cost-efficient, symmetric level.

Moreover, the Commission is concerned that the proposed levels of MTRs are, over the entire glide-path as calculated by AGCOM, considerably above cost oriented levels and EU-average. Therefore, the proposed levels of MTRs provide comparative advantages to Italian mobile operators beyond the recommended imposition of cost-orientation.

Against this background, the Commission urges AGCOM to set a glide path achieving cost-efficient MTRs already by 31 December 2012, for example by way of limiting the number of steps of the glide-path.

Asymmetry in MTRs of the Italian MNOs


The Commission reminds AGCOM again that, in principle, MTRs should be set at a level corresponding to the costs of an efficient operator, and, therefore, should result in a single, symmetric rate...

...the Commission considers that AGCOM has not provided adequate justification for asymmetry of MTRs in Italy in its draft measure. In the current notification, deviating in this respect from the previous one, AGCOM argues that the asymmetry of MTRs is justified solely on the basis of still significant differences in spectrum assignment. The Commission considers that AGCOM has not explained to what extent the difference in spectrum allocation has an impact on the difference of the cost of provision of mobile termination services. Moreover AGCOM has not provided any information as to the quantification of the potential cost differences of voice call termination on GSM900, DCS1800 or UMTS2100 networks.

Application of the BU-LRIC model

The Commission notes that AGCOM has previously consulted its methodology of a BU-LRIC model. In its relevant notification to the Commission, AGCOM left certain key issues open, in view of the currently notified assessment of the market for mobile call termination. These concern in particular the inclusion of certain costs (i.e. costs of additional frequencies, commercial costs) into the model's calculation, as well as details as to whether/how the actual, audited costs provided by the MNOs will be taken into account.

The Commission invites AGCOM, for the purpose of transparency, to provide further details as to how the model has been applied and which costs were considered relevant for the calculations in the final adopted measure".

German NRA approves DT's LLU charges

Bundesnetzagentur has released the approval of Deutsche Telekom'c local loop rates (see the press release).

BEREC's consultation on possible existing legal and administrative barriers in the provision of telecom services for the business segment

BEREC's Framework Implementation Expert Working Group has launched a consultation regarding possible existing legal and administrative barriers with reference to the provision of electronic communications services for the business segment.

Monday, 4 July 2011

CAT refers appeal on MTRs to CC

The Competition Appeal Tribunal referred to the Competition Commission the appeal lodged by British Telecom, Everything Everywhere, Hutchison 3G and Vodafone against OFCOM's MTRs (see CAT's relevant page and CC's press release).

Irish NRA introduces KPIs

ComReg after the relative consultation was closed, issued its decision on the introduction of Key Performance Indicators for regulated markets.

Portuguese Appeal Court holds fine to PT Comunicações for violating portability rules

PT Comunicações' appeal which sought to nullify ANACOM's 500.000 € fine imposed for violation of number portability rules, was rejected from Lisbon's Commercial Court (see the NRA's press release).

New undertakings reguested for approving BSkyB's acquisition by Newscorp.

"The undertakings published on 3 March 2011 involve Sky News being ‘spun off’ as a separate company, operating independently from BSkyB. The Secretary of State, based on advice from the OFT and Ofcom, had said he was minded to accept the undertakings in lieu of a reference to the Competition Commission..."

However, due to further suggestions, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has "published a revised more robust set of undertakings for consultation.

The changes, which are set out in full in the revised undertakings published today, include:

- The need for Sky News board meetings to include an independent director with senior editorial and/or journalistic expertise if decisions on editorial matters are to be made.
- The appointment of a monitoring trustee whose main role is to ensure that News Corp complies with the undertakings in the run up to spin-off.
- A requirement for Sky to continue to cross-promote Sky News on its channels.
- A requirement for Sky News’ Articles of Association to be approved by the Secretary of State" (see DCMS press release).

New EU roaming prices

As of 1 July 2011 lower roaming rates are applicable pursuant to the revised roaming regulation (see the Commission's press release).