Thursday, January 25, 2007

Over my dead copper

Another busy day looms ahead of me, but I wanted to draw your attention to the excellent piece which our EuroTelcofriends at T-Regs have done on OPTA's letter of yesterday outlining its current thinking on the KPN all-IP migration. If you're not a Dutch speaker, but interested in developments in the Dutch market and regulatory complexities of next-gen network deployment, then you will find this immensely helpful.

It would appear that OPTA has come to the same conclusions that others and I (perhaps somewhat uncharitably) expressed doubts about previously:

"...the studies conducted, and input received from alternative operators, indicate that it is not sufficiently clear that a fully fledged alternative [to copper MDF access] would be sufficiently guaranteed..."


" seems clear that the study concludes that the threshold for economic viability for an alternative operator using sub-loop unbundling from street cabinets is unlikely to be achieved by any alternative operator unless it reaches an enormous market share (in a market that is characterised by major presence of cable networks) or can operate on the basis of sub-loop unbundling very selectively whilst having a larger global broadband market share than Dutch alternative operators currently control, and under the assumption of considerably increased average revenue per user."

I am also personally puzzled by the reference made to OPTA's unexplained decision to back away from a focus on coordinated infrastructure deployment, which, indeed as T-Regs notes, is completely at odds with the stance of the French regulator (and possibly common sense, in my humble opinion).

Lastly, I'm looking forward to the publication next month of OPTA's study of the Openreach model and its possible implications in the Dutch market.

UPDATE: My cyberbuddy and coopetitor Tim Poulus has made a very fine post on this issue, where he goes through the views of each market participant. Check the bombshell at the end, where Vodafone is apparently urging OPTA to examine the case for structural separation.

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