Mr Alberto Bacchiega (European Commission, DG Competition) delivered a keynote speech and Ms Rita Wezenbeek (European Commission, DG Connect) participated in the panel discussion.
The participants of the event agreed during the panel discussion “Copper switch-off: Regulation for a Successful Transition into the Fibre World” that the ex-monopolist telecommunications companies have historically received their copper networks “for free”. The European regulatory approach has allowed them to earn profits on their copper infrastructure and the access takers have co-financed and continue to co-finance the incumbents’ networks, including the expansion of the fibre network. Therefore, those profits should be used to pay for and encourage the migration process to fibre networks.
According to Ms Rita Wezenbeek, DG CONECT, the NRAs have a clear role to play in the design and supervision of the switch-off: the decision to switch-off copper network belongs to operators, yet NRAs have specific tasks and oversight in the entire process. Copper switch-off should be encouraged, once the proper conditions are met.
Mr Alberto Bacchiega, DG COMP, highlighted that regulation is and will remain an important part of EU policy in the digitization of Europe. There are differences in regulatory approaches in the individual member states, particularly in Germany and Spain, and these will have major impact on expanse of the FTTH coverage.
Check further info, presentations and photos from the event.