Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Sep. '12 updt: Comreg consults on wholesale fixed call termination

The Irish NRA launched its consultation on its draft decision concerning the review of the market of wholesale voice call termination services provided at a fixed location.

Sep. '12 updt: Commission issues Communication on Promoting the shared use of radio spectrum resources in the internal market

"The European Commission today unveiled plans to deal with the exponential growth in mobile and wireless data traffic by enabling wireless technologies, including broadband, to share the use of the radio spectrum.

With new technologies it is possible to share radio spectrum amongst several users – such as internet providers – or use the spectrum available between TV frequencies, for example, for other purposes. National spectrum regulation often does not reflect the new technical possibilities, leaving mobile and broadband users at risk of poor service as demand grows, and preventing a single market for investment in such communications markets.

A coordinated European approach to sharing spectrum will lead to greater mobile network capacity, cheaper wireless broadband, and new markets such as tradable secondary rights for a given spectrum allocation.

...

As the first measure of the EU's new Radio Spectrum Policy Programme ..., today the Commission calls for:

1) Regulators to support wireless innovation by monitoring and potentially extending the harmonised internal market bands in which no licence is required (so-called licence-exempt bands) through appropriate measures under the Radio Spectrum Decision (676/2002/EC),

2) Fostering consistent regulatory approaches across the EU for shared rights of use that give incentives and legal certainty to all users (current and new) who can share valuable spectrum resources." (see the press release, Q&A and the Communication).

Aug. '12 updt: New Permanent Stakeholders’ Group (PSG) of top IT-security advisors appointed at ENISA

New Permanent Stakeholders’ Group (PSG) of top IT-security advisors appointed at ENISA (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Czech Competition Authority issues Annual Report

Czech Competition Authority issued its Annual Report.

Aug. '12 updt: Greek Ministry consults on DTV frequency plan

The Greek Ministry of Development and Competitiveness launched a consultation concerning digital television's frequency plan to be adopted (see press release, in greek).

Aug. '12 updt: German Court's decision protects Bundeskartellamt's leniency programme

"In the proceedings against several coffee roasters, the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf decided on 22 August 2012 that the denial of third-party access to the leniency applications of cartel participants was also valid in court proceedings. Leniency applicants can now rely on their applications being kept confidential, not only by the Bundeskartellamt but also in court proceedings" (see the NCA's press release).

Aug. 12' updt: BNetzA issues guidelines on optical fibre cable installation

"The Bundesnetzagentur ... published guidelines on the laying of optical fibre cables or ducts in connection with necessary work performed on the grid. The aim of installing power lines and telecommunications infrastructures simultaneously is to benefit from synergies and accelerate broadband rollout. In particular, the guidelines address the question of whether and, if so, how the costs incurred by the electricity network operators will be considered in the context of incentive regulation" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Commission issues art. 7a Recommendation, requiring UKE to improve access to fibre network

"The European Commission has called on the Polish telecoms regulator (UKE) to amend or withdraw its proposal to give alternative operators only limited access to Telekomunikacja Polska's (TP) fibre networks. In the Commission's view, UKE's decision could have a negative effect on competition and the future development of fibre networks, and thus limit offers available to consumers and businesses. This is the second time that the Commission has issued a recommendation under Article 7a of the Telecoms Directive ....

...

UKE's proposal concerns wholesale broadband access, through which alternative operators can offer internet services to their own end customers. Wholesale broadband access is granted at a higher network level than "network infrastructure access" (also known as "unbundling") and allows the alternative operator to use a greater part of the incumbent's network.

UKE has proposed not to regulate the prices alternative operators pay for wholesale broadband access to TP's fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network, meaning that TP would determine this access price. UKE believes that such pricing freedom will give an incentive to TP to further roll out such networks. However, under the Commission's Recommendation on Next Generation Access Networks ..., a telecom regulator should only lift cost-orientated access pricing when functional separation (operationally separate business entities) or other strict non-discrimination rules have ensured equivalence of access for alternative operators. The Commission has therefore today called on UKE to either mandate cost-orientated access to FTTH or to impose rigorous non-discriminatory access to the incumbent's network which, together with the evidence of a significant competitive constraint from regulated copper access prices and/or other well developed alternative infrastructures like cable or LTE (Long Term Evolution, a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data), can provide sufficient competitive safeguards to allow UKE not to impose cost-orientated access to FTTH networks" (see press release, older post on the case and the Recommendation).

From UKE's side, it was stated by its president that "Due to these circumstances, the risks outlined by the European Commission are premature in the opinion of the President of UKE and they appear to be unjustified and irrelevant, given the fact that at present there is practically no developed FTTH network in Poland owned by TP.
 
Nevertheless, due to the market stability and regulatory predictability, I decided to accept the recommendation of the European Commission, as well as the opinions expressed by European regulatory authorities united in BEREC. Next year, we will conduct a new analysis of the wholesale broadband access market and then we will select appropriate regulatory measures - said Magdalena Gaj, President of UKE" (see press release).

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Aug. '12 updt: Romanian NRA proposes changes to general authorisation regime

"ANCOM proposes amendments and completions to the decision on the general authorisation regime for the provision of electronic communications networks and services, in order to reflect the provisions of the new legislative framework for electronic communications, as well as to remedy certain deficiencies or ambiguities encountered in practice. The most important amendments and completions regard the security and integrity of electronic communications networks and services, the provision of emergency electronic communications services, the terms of use for numbering resources, the technical conditions for the retransmission of audiovisual programme services, respectively the content of the description file for networks and service" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: ANACOM issues final decision on revision of the calculation of PTC's cost of capital for 2011

The Portuguese NRA issued its final decision on the revision of the calculation of PTC's cost of capital for 2011, after the Commission made no comments in its Art. 7 decision (see the NRA's press release),

Aug. '12 updt: French government launches investigation into the future of television regulation in France

"The Government has just announced the launch of an investigation into the future of television regulation in France.

As the Prime Minister stated in his recent press release, TV programmes are being delivered less and less via terrestrial broadcasting systems and more and more over wireline (ADSL, cable, optical fibre  etc.) and wireless networks, and to a growing array of devices (computers, tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, etc.). This in turn is gradually diminishing the scope of current television regulation which is tied chiefly to terrestrial broadcasting. More and more, then, TV programming is being delivered to the public in the same way as other online content (text, images, files, data, etc.), i.e. via electronic communications networks, and particularly via the internet, often using servers located outside our borders.

An overall investigation into television, telecoms and internet regulation is therefore useful – while not losing sight of the differences in the purpose, magnitude and methods of regulation governing networks, televised programming and the regime that applies to all the other content being relayed over these networks.

As ARCEP had wished, the Government’s process will begin with an exploration of changes in regulatory objectives, then focus on how this will affect the way in which France’s regulatory authorities are organised – within the limits allowed by European Law.

ARCEP also welcomes the fact that the conclusions that will be delivered to the Prime Minister in late November will be established based on analyses and proposals drafted by the regulatory authorities concerned by these developments. ARCEP will lend its full experience and expertise to the task, to help in the successful completion of this endeavour" (see ARCEP's press release).

Aug. 12' updt: OFT advises landowners on collaboration to speed up rural broadband roll out

"The OFT has ... issued a Short-form Opinion to the National Farmers' Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) clarifying how competition law applies to the recommendation of a rate to be charged by their members for allowing broadband cables to cross their land" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: OFCOM plans 4g auction by the end of 2012

"The largest ever auction of spectrum for mobile services in the UK is set to get under way by the end of 2012, Ofcom announced ..., laying the path for next-generation 4G networks to be rolled out next year" (see press release and related page).

Aug. '12 updt: OFCOM's decision to vary Everything Everywhere’s 1800 MHz spectrum licences to allow use of LTE and WiMax technologies

The UK's NRA has issued its decision to vary Everything Everywhere’s 1800 MHz spectrum licences to allow use of LTE and WiMax technologies (see press release and related page).

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments to BNetzA on the latter's review of fixed call origination and termination markets

The European Commission had no comments to make to BNetzA on the latter's market definition and SMP assessment within its 3rd review of the fixed call origination and termination markets (see decision).

Aug. '12 updt: UKE announces tender for five exclusive frequency licenses in the 1800 MHz

The Polish NRA has announced the tender for five exclusive frequency licenses in the 1800 MHz band(see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Comreg closes investigation against Telefonica and Lycamobile

The Irish NRA notified Telefonica Ireland and Lycamobile Ireland, the closure of its investigation which concerned potential collusio nunder the roaming agreement that the parties had concluded.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments to BNetzA on the latter's proposed approval of DT's VDSL-IP-Bitstrom-Kontingentmodell

The European Commission made the following comments, in its decision, addressed to the German NRA on the latter's proposed acceptance of Deutsche Telekom's VDSL-IP-Bitstrom-Kontingentmodell:

"Need to impose an effective price control mechanism

The Commission notes that BNetzA still applies an approach to price control which the Commission, in case DE/2010/1116, considered as not the most appropriate and effective remedy for the market in question. Since NRAs are bound to take utmost account of Commission comments, the Commission reiterates that the concerns which the Commission had regarding the lack of an efficient price regulation remain. In particular, in order to ensure regulatory certainty for access seekers and promote efficient investment by all operators, access prices would in principle need to be cost-oriented and transparent on an ex-ante basis. In accordance with the regulatory framework, such prices can be appropriately adjusted for investment risk, in order to drive both competition and investment in (next generation) infrastructure. As a result, the Commission reminds BNetzA to reconsider its overall pricing approach.
 

Need to monitor the effects of the proposed measure
 

The Commission takes note that both BNetzA and access seekers recognize that the amended contingent model could have a positive effect on VDSL investment and roll-out. However, as it is yet unclear how the measure will affect infrastructure investment of operators other than the SMP operator, and how it will more generally influence the further development of competition in the wholesale broadband access market, the Commission invites BNetzA to set out in its final measure a mechanism by way of which the effects of the proposed model on the market would be monitored, particularly with regard to ensuring non-discrimination and assessing whether the proposed measure may work to the disadvantage of smaller and/or only regionally active alternative operators."

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments to ARCEP on the latter's review of the wholesale market for digital terrestrial television broadcasting services

The European Commission made the following comments, in its decision, addressed to the French NRA on the latter's review of the wholesale market for digital terrestrial television broadcasting services (see also ARCEP's press release and final decision, in french):

"Regulation of the overseas territories

ARCEP considers the geographical market as national in scope, i.e. including mainland France and the overseas territories. However, as agreed by ARCEP, the competitive conditions are very different in overseas territories where DTT is not the main platform used for accessing TV channels (satellite has a very strong presence). Given those circumstances, ARCEP should fully take into account the intensity of platform competition when imposing adequate remedies in the overseas territories. In particular, it cannot, a priori, be excluded that TV channels and editors can, in some specific geographic areas, switch to another platform than DTT and consequently their countervailing buying power is also strong (taking also into account the must-carry obligation).
 

The Commission asks ARCEP to re-analyse more in-depth, in its final measure, the competitive conditions in the overseas territories and to re-assess the proposed remedies (in particular the need for cost-orientation).

Strengthening the criteria for identifying replicable and non-replicable sites
 

ARCEP explains that at least over the next review cycle DTT will remain an essential and unavoidable platform for TV channels. The Commission is of the view that this situation may be perpetuated by the specific technological and legal environment in France –in particular the coverage obligation and the call for tender requirements– which impact on the development of platform competition. 

In fact, the prospect for infrastructure competition (i.e. replication of sites) seems rather weak at the moment (currently of the 134 sites of the principal network covering 85% of the population, 83 are considered non-replicable by ARCEP). Since ARCEP has devised remedies to foster competition at least at those sites considered replicable, the development of infrastructure competition will also depend on whether the distinction between replicable and non-replicable sites is sufficiently accurate.
 

In this respect the Commission observes that the number of sites considered as non-replicable has increased compared to the previous market review while several non-replicable sites have effectively been replicated. It would therefore appear that the replicability assessment, which rests on only two criteria, is not sufficiently precise and does not take fully into account the economics of providing the broadcasting transmission service at each respective site.
 

Consequently, ARCEP's approach with regard to selecting replicable and nonreplicable sites does not appear to provide the necessary regulatory certainty to foster infrastructure investments.
 

Against this background, the Commission believes that, in order to ensure the development of a competitive market, regulation should be based on a case by case assessment of replication at each site taking into account not only the physical aspects but also the economics of replication (e.g. expected gains from renewals of multiplex contracts and from the provision of a bundle of services at a site, over the market review period). Therefore, before imposing remedies, the Commission calls on ARCEP to use additional criteria in its assessment of replication (on a site by site basis or for groups of sites characterized by the same conditions) in order to strengthen its current assumptions."

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments on Latvian NRA's review of mobile termination market

SPRK withdrew its initial 3rd review owing to the opening of phase II, under art. 7a by the Commission (see older post). The Commission, made the following comments, in its decision, addressed to the Latvian NRA on the anew proposed review of the mobile call termination market:

"Need for an appropriate benchmarking methodology

At the outset, the Commission welcomes SPRK's decision to impose an access obligation on all SMP operators. This addresses the concern expressed by the Commission with regards to SPRK's previously notified draft measure.
 

With regard to the current SPRK proposal to regulate MTRs, the Commission would like to stress that there are other Member States, such as Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Spain, which have implemented the pure BU-LRIC cost model and thus their MTRs should be taken into account when benchmarking. 

Secondly, the Commission reiterates that rates used for benchmarking purposes should be the cost efficient target rates at the end of the respective glide paths in the chosen Member States, and not the intermediate rates. Such an approach has also been endorsed by BEREC. Contrary to this, when benchmarking against Hungarian MTRs, SPRK has chosen a benchmark rate of 2.32€ct/min which does not in fact represent a cost-efficient MTR that results from a costing model developed by the Hungarian NRA but an intermediate rate leading to the cost efficient MTR. As the Commission noted in its decision concerning case HU/2011/1225, MTRs set at the cost-efficient level have not yet been imposed in Hungary, but its imposition was only announced for January 2014, as it depends on the outcome of a new market analysis.
 

In this context the Commission would like to point out that there are other reliable and publicly available sources, such as decisions adopted by NRAs, as well as Commission decisions concerning notifications made in accordance with Article 7 of the Framework Directive.

More generally, when setting the MTRs on the basis of a benchmark, the NRA should ensure that the target rate is not higher than the average of the costefficient target rates in those Member States having implemented the recommended pure BU-LRIC model in order to comply with the Recommend 12 of the Termination Rates Recommendation. Therefore, the NRA should (i) identify the Member States which have not only developed a pure BU-LRIC model, but have already adopted a decision which stipulates that the cost-efficient target rate will come into force on 1 January 2013, or, exceptionally, delays its introduction for a short period of time beyond this deadline and (ii) use
the target rates resulting from the pure BU-LRIC models applied in the above specified Member States (and not the rates foreseen in the glide-path) to calculate such average rate of the cost efficient MTRs.
 

In addition to the BEREC Reports, the information required for the above analysis should be taken from final decisions adopted by NRAs in their respective Member States. Further on Commission Article 7 decisions concerning market 7 notifications, which very often contain a list of Member States having implemented the pure BU-LRIC methodology, as well as their cost-efficient rates (such as the one below) might provide a more updated list of Member States and their rates than the BEREC Report which is published every six months. However, the Commission points out that the NRAs would still need to verify the finally adopted measures, to determine whether they indeed correspond to the notified draft decisions."

It follows "Table of Member States which have notified a pure BU-LRIC methodology for MTRs to the European Commission under Article 7 (as of 31 July 2012) Country Target Rate (€ct/min).

...

Once the NRA has calculated the pure BU-LRIC rate, it should then determine the appropriate glide-path, resulting in the pure BU-LRIC target rate as of 1 January.
 

Finally, the Commission is of the view that SPRK, by comparing the results of the benchmark approach with those of a top-down model which uses audited data of one of the Latvian operators has moderately increased the level of MTR. The Commission would like to stress that, according to the Termination Rates Recommendation, such a comparison is foreseen only in order to verify the bottom-up modelling approach, but not when a NRA decides to apply benchmarking against prices existing in other Member States.
 

The Commission therefore urges SPRK to (i) benchmark against all pure BULRIC MTRs currently implemented across the EU and remove the adjustment stemming from the audited top-down model of Latvias Mobilas Telefons, (ii) verify whether the proposed benchmark rates actually correspond to the pure BU-LRIC rates adopted by the NRAs by way of final decisions, (iii) in case deviations are identified, correct the benchmark rates and adopt in its final decision an amended benchmarking methodology as described above, and (iv) modify its glide-path in order to set the MTRs at the level of the pure BU-LRIC rate already as of 1 January 2013, as foreseen in the Termination Rates
Recommendation.
 

The Commission recalls that Article 7(7) of the Framework Directive imposes on NRAs the obligation to "take the utmost account" of the Commission's comments.
 

The Commission reminds SPRK that, in any event, the proposed regulation including the above-mentioned necessary adjustments should be of temporary nature and ought to be replaced as soon as possible by the pure BU-LRIC methodology (at the latest as of 1 July 2014).
 

The Commission finally reminds SPRK that if it were to propose a new price remedy, which would deviate from EU law and the principles of the Termination Rates Recommendation, the Commission could proceed to opening a phase II investigation pursuant to Article 7a of the Framework Directive."

Aug. '12 updt: Commission opens phase II regarding Latvian NRA's proposed fixed termination rates

"The European Commission has expressed serious doubts about a new proposal from the Latvian telecoms regulator (SPRK) regarding fixed termination rates which would negatively affect consumers in Latvia. Termination rates are the rates telecoms networks charge each other to deliver calls between networks, and each operator has market power over access to customers on its own network. These costs are ultimately included in call prices paid by consumers and businesses.

SPRK proposed to apply very high fixed termination rates of 0.29 eurocents per call and 0.26 eurocents per minute from 1 April 2013 whilst the same rates can be much lower in other Member States (e.g. 0.08 eurocents per minute in France). Such level of rates is not in line with the Commission's 2009 Termination Rates Recommendation under the EU telecoms rules. The methodology applied by SPRK on fixed termination rates does not ensure that these rates are set on the basis of the costs of an efficient operator and therefore they result in rates which are too high by EU standards. 

...

In the letter sent to SPRK today, the Commission explains that the new rates in this proposal do not comply with the principles and objectives of EU telecoms rules which require Member States to promote competition and the interests of consumers in the EU, as well as the development of the Internal Market" (see the press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Commission vetoes Czech regulator's plans to regulate access to its broadband networks

"The European Commission has ruled that the Czech telecoms regulator (ČTÚ) must withdraw its plans to include wholesale broadband services based on cable and Wi-Fi platforms into its definition of the wholesale broadband access product market.

In its veto decision adopted today, the European Commission considers that ČTÚ failed to provide sufficient evidence that cable and Wi-Fi platforms, over which no wholesale offers exist, would be substitutes of the prevalent copper and fibre technologies on the wholesale market in the current Czech context. The Commission also does not accept ČTÚ's geographic market definition, which is based on its product market definition and results in the finding of two separate geographic markets.

Today's decision means ČTÚ must withdraw its proposed measure, and may not implement its plans, which would result, in some cases, in the lifting of obligations (including wholesale broadband access) on the main Czech telecoms operator Telefónica. This Commission action will protect consumers against a likelihood of paying higher prices for higher speed Internet connections.

The Commission has not, however, ruled out the possibility of geographically differentiated remedies that reflect the different conditions of competition across the Czech market. If ČTÚ wishes to pursue this option, it must produce a revised analysis based on a new product and geographic market definition" (see the press release).

Aug. '12 updt: FCC's Wireless Backhaul Reform

"The Federal Communications Commission ... adopted measures promoting further deployment of mobile broadband service, continuing its reform of rules governing use of microwave frequencies for wireless backhaul as part of the FCC’s Broadband Acceleration Initiative and its regulatory reform agenda.

Building on recommendations in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, and following up on the Commission’s August 2011 Wireless Backhaul Report and Order, today’s actions will speed the rollout of fourth-generation (4G) broadband networks, accelerate the role of expanded wireless broadband communications in national economic revitalization and job creation, and bring new broadband services to rural areas. Today’s actions also continue the FCC’s regulatory reform agenda by eliminating unneeded regulations and ensuring that necessary regulations reflect current technology.

The Second Report and Order permits fixed microwave operators to use smaller antennas in certain microwave bands, which can result in significant cost savings to operators. The Rural Microwave Flexibility Policy adopted today will provide increased opportunities for broadband deployment in rural areas, increasing coverage and reducing cost. The Commission also updates existing microwave efficiency standards to reflect modern digital technologies.

The Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Second Notice of Inquiry continue the Commission’s effort to reform and modernize its wireless backhaul rules. Among other things, the Commission considers accommodating new types of antennas to reflect advances in technology, and proposes to allow smaller antennas in an additional microwave band" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: FTC adopts in final settlement with Facebook

"Following a public comment period, the FTC has accepted as final a settlement with Facebook resolving charges that Facebook deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public.

The settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including by giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining their express consent before sharing their information beyond their privacy settings, by maintaining a comprehensive privacy program to protect consumers' information, and by obtaining biennial privacy audits from an independent third party
" (see FTC's press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Google settles FTC's charges on Safari case

"Google Inc. has agreed to pay a record $22.5 million civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it misrepresented to users of Apple Inc.’s Safari Internet browser that it would not place tracking “cookies” or serve targeted ads to those users, violating an earlier privacy settlement between the company and the FTC" (see FTC's press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Commission and EBU sign MoU on reform of public broadcasters of prospective EU enlargement countries

"Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle and President of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Jean-Paul Philippot signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing closer cooperation in assisting the reform of public broadcasters in the countries that aspire to join the EU" (see the Commission's and EBU's press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments to Slovakian NRA on the latter's review of retail fixed market

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

"Need to monitor the market in terms of pricing

The Commission notes that TÚSR proposes not to impose an obligation not to charge excessive prices on Slovak Telekom. However, against the background of Slovak Telekom's continued high market share and other competitive advantages, and despite the increasing presence of alternative infrastructures, the risk of excessive pricing by Slovak Telekom cannot be fully excluded. TÚSR considers that the fees charged by the SMP operator and the alternative operators are comparable but only provides the one-off fee for establishing access and making public telephone services available to customers. The Commission notes that Slovak Telekom's one-off fees appear to be considerably higher than those of the alternative operators. With regard to monthly fees, TÚSR considers that these would not be informative as the individual operators have multiple offers with various contract durations, including pre-paid minutes, free calls, or bundles with internet access or TV broadcasting for a single price. Nevertheless, TÚSR considers that offers of both the SMP operator and its competitors are comparable in price. TÚSR also refers to aggressively priced monthly fee offers from Orange Slovensko in the beginning of 2010 - in some cases half the fee charged by Slovak Telekom - but notes that the influence of Orange Slovensko, despite its geographical coverage, is small.
 

The Commission notes the increase in alternative infrastructures offering access to the public telephone network at a fixed location in Slovakia and a WLR obligation, which was recently imposed alongside the existing wholesale CS/CPS obligations. Whilst this should further improve the competitive conditions on the market, the Commission nevertheless invites TÚSR to monitor the market closely, in particular with regard to pricing structures and strategies.

In particular, the Commission invites TÚSR to enforce strictly its wholesale regulation and rigorously monitor market developments both at retail and at wholesale level. Where the wholesale remedies imposed and the currently proposed limited form of retail regulation would not achieve the regulatory objectives set out in Article 8 of the Framework Directive, TÚSR should consider imposing, in accordance with Article 17 of the Universal Service Directive, further regulatory obligations based on the nature of the problem identified in the retail access market."

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments to Maltese NRA on the latter review of the "old" mobile wholesale access and call origination market

The European Commission had no comment to make, in its decision, addressed to MCA on the latter's findings that the mobile wholesale access and call origination market, which was not longer included in the 2007 Recommendation,  did not meet the three-criteria test and thus ex ante regulation should be abondoned (see also MCA's press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Commission's Art. 7 Comments to BNetzA on remedies in high bandwith leased lines market

The first set of proposed remedies in the high bandwith leased lines markets, was rejected by the Commission (see older post). After the NRA withdrew them, it proposed anew the current, for which the Commission had no comments to make (see decision):

"The current notification now proposes to set a full set of remedies for the two wholesale
markets of terminating leased lines, for which BNetzA has identified DT as having SMP,
i.e. the wholesale markets for (i) terminating segments with a bandwidth of 2 Mbps up to
and including 10 Mbps and (ii) terminating segments with a bandwidth of more than 10
Mbps up to and including 155 Mbps.
The proposed remedies for these two markets are as follows:
• An obligation to grant access, including an obligation to provide collocation;
• An obligation to publish a reference offer;
• An general non-discrimination obligation10; and
• An ex-ante price control.
Due to the inclusion of Ethernet based circuits in the defined market (case DE/2011/1277)
the proposed remedies now also apply to such new interface circuits.
"


Aug. '12 updt: ARCEP issues annual report

ARCEP issues 2011 annual report (see the report and data).

Aug. '12 updt: ARCEP consults on 1800 MHz refarm

"ARCEP launches a public consultation on the reuse of the 1800 MHz band by technologies other than GSM" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Moldova's regulator plans to issue 4G licenses to three operators

"The National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) will issue to the three operators providing public mobile networks and services, directly, before December 31, 2012, one license each, for the use of radio frequencies of 2500-2690 MHz band, for the provision of 4th generation (4G) public mobile terrestrial networks and services, with broadband radio access, in LTE standard" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Austrian NRA approves Carlos Slim shareholdings in A1 Telekom Austria

"In its meeting on 30 July 2012, the Austrian Telekom-Control Commission (TKK) approved of the shareholdings of the Carlos Slim Group in A1 Telekom Austria AG. According to the Austrian Telecommunications Act 2003 (TKG), changes in the ownership structure of companies that were awarded mobile communications frequencies require the approval of the TKK" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: German Court confirms NCA's decision on prohibition of online video platform case

"...the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf confirmed the decision of the Bundeskartellamt in which it prohibited a joint venture by RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 for the creation and operation of an online video platform" (see Bundeskartellamt's press release).

Aug. '12 updt: Greek administrator issues tender for conclusion of MANs

Greek administrator issues tender for conclusion of MANs. A project worth around 7 million €. Deadline of submissions on 28/09/2012 (see related page, in greek).

Aug. '12 updt: Greek Ministry consults on operation procedures of newly established Electromagnetic Fields Observatory

Greek Ministry consults on operation procedures of newly established Electromagnetic Fields Observatory (press release, in greek).

Aug. '12 updt: CC's final report on pay-TV movies market

"The Competition Commission (CC) has decided that Sky’s position in relation to the acquisition and distribution of movies in the first pay window does not adversely affect competition in the pay-TV retail market" (see press release).

Aug. '12 updt: CAT overturn's OFCOM's wholesale must offer order imposed on BSkyB

CAT overturned OFCOM's order, under which BSkyB had to provide in lower prices, wholesale premium sport channels to third distribution channels (see CAT's related page).

Aug. '12 updt: UK ISPs sign open internet voluntary code

"...leading internet service providers (ISPs) are signing a voluntary code of practice in support of the open internet.
The code commits ISPs to the provision of full and open internet access products and confirms that traffic management practices will not be used to target and degrade the services of a competitor.
This initiative builds on the transparency code of practice published in 2011 which ensures that clear, understandable and comparable information on traffic management practices is available to consumers.
New commitments set out in the code confirm that signatories will:
  1. Ensure that full and open internet access products, with no blocked services, will be the norm within their portfolio of products.
  2. Provide greater transparency in instances where certain classes of legal content, applications and/or services are unavailable on a product. These products will not be marketed as “internet access” and signatories will be obliged to ensure that any restrictions are clearly communicated to consumers.
  3. Not target and degrade the content or applications of specific providers.
Also, a new process is being established to allow content providers to raise potential cases of targeted and negative discrimination with ISPs. If they are not satisfactorily resolved, these issues will be lodged with the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) who will share them with Ofcom and government" (see BSG's press release).