PTS is proposing new obligations for broadband markets

18/12/2008

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) is proposing obligations that will apply when operators want to offer broadband services via TeliaSonera's fibre and copper networks. These proposals were submitted today for consultation with operators, who have until 9 February 2009 to express an opinion about them.

PTS has assessed that TeliaSonera is an operator with significant market power in both the market for network infrastructure access and the market for wholesale broadband access. Consequently, TeliaSonera will be imposing obligations to provide other operators with access to the company's network so that they can offer broadband services to consumers and businesses.

For instance, in the market for network infrastructure access, it is proposed that TeliaSonera must grant access to fibre and ducting in addition to access to the copper-based network. The previous obligation decision only regulated access to the copper network.

As regards the market for wholesale broadband access, PTS is considering imposing differentiated regulation; for example, through geographical or product-differentiated obligations. PTS is also proposing a new price regulation model for bitstream access.

Both markets are currently characterised by considerable competition problems. They have undergone changes since the previous obligation decisions and are facing continued technological development. Consequently, PTS considers that it is important to gather the views of the operators concerning the wording of the obligation decisions at an early stage and is now inviting parties for consultation concerning the proposed regulatory needs. The operators are being offered the opportunity to respond to a number of open questions in the proposals. At a later consultation phase, the Agency will present obligations with the final wording.

Through this dialogue, PTS wishes to draw up obligation decisions that are as clear and effective as possible so that more operators will be able to offer broadband services and thereby increase competition in the markets. At the end of the day, this will benefit consumers in the form of a wider range of products and better prices.

Decisions affecting the markets for network infrastructure access and wholesale broadband access will be made during the summer of 2009. Besides additional consultation with operators, consultation regarding the decisions will take place with the Swedish Competition Authority, the European Commission and other regulatory authorities in Europe.

PTS issued decisions in 2004 and 2005 about the obligations that currently apply in the various sub-markets within the electronic communications market. The market for network infrastructure access corresponds to the previous obligation decision for LLU, whereas wholesale broadband access was previously regulated in the bitstream obligation decision. The Agency is now conducting the second generation of market analyses and obligation decisions. In this round, the European Commission has indicated seven product and service markets that are relevant for market analyses and possible obligation decisions.

Read the proposal (only in Swedish)

For more information, please contact David Troëng, head of Competition Department, tel. 070-8617219.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) monitors the electronic communications and postal sectors in Sweden. The term ‘electronic communications’ includes telephony, the Internet and radio. The Agency works with consumer and competition issues, efficient utilisation of resources and secure communications. Read more at www.pts.se.