01 July, 2016

RD432 - ETNO response to the public consultation on the draft BEREC common position on Layer 2 Wholesale Access Products - BoR (16) 95

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ETNO welcomes the opportunity to contribute to BEREC’s public consultation on the common position on Layer 2 wholesale access products (L2 WAP).

ETNO took note of BEREC’s approach to give an overview of existing L2 WAP products and identify common characteristics throughout Europe resulting in its report BoR (15) 133. Last year’s report had expressly no intention of being normative or recommending best practices. ETNO sees no additional value in departing from last year’s approach and issuing common positions on L2 prices and technical characteristics of WAPs (both for markets 3a and 3b), as their usage, requirements and characteristics vary according to different national circumstances. L2 WAPs have been introduced and are well established in several European markets. Adapting these products tailored to national market needs in reaction to a BEREC Common Position risks being costly and inefficient.

The regulatory approach to be taken for the future regulation of wholesale products should be aligned with the DSM strategy, namely to promote network investments and innovation and thereby fostering long-term consumers’ interests.

The report is clearly anchored in the rules governing the current framework, which were designed to spur competition in existing networks, taking for granted that the approach to be taken with future NGA should be the same. References such as: “situations in which access to physical infrastructure was not considered sufficient to ensure effective competition at the retail level” seem to reflect a disproportionate approach focussing on physical unbundling and relying on the ladder of investment concept to the detriment of a long term vision that allows operators to deploy new technologies.

Moreover, regulation of Layer 2 products itself should only apply if strictly necessary and proportionate. Voluntary wholesale arrangements reached between the relevant players in one Member State should take precedence over regulatory impositions. This is very relevant for some technical issues, such as the number of VLANs, but also on economic conditions, that may include different levels of risk sharing/ wholesale prices.


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