28 January, 2022

ETNO response to the draft BEREC Report on “a consistent approach to migration and copper switch-off”

ETNO welcomes the possibility to comment on the draft BEREC report on a consistent approach to migration and copper switch-off.

First of all, we would like to highlight that, given the current review process of the NGA and NDCM Recommendations and the upcoming adoption of a new Access Recommendation aimed at supporting a consistent approach regarding the regulatory approach on NGA/fiber networks, it is premature for BEREC to provide any recommendation regarding the copper switch off. The Report should only provide a snapshot of the current practice and identify those practices supporting swift switch-off processes. That being said, we provide in the document our views on the proposed BEREC recommendations. 

Secondly, the approach of the EECC (see Recital 209 and Article 81) is rightfully one which balances the right of the network owners to phase out with the requirement coming from access seekers to have a sufficient transition period to adapt. The EECC does not seek to interfere with the investment decisions of owners of legacy networks. On the one hand, the decision regarding switch-off should indeed always remain with the network owner, on the other hand, NRAs should set the right incentives for not hampering the copper phase-out planned by operators and for facilitating the technical migration of customers to the new services. Indeed, the EECC requires to “facilitate the migration from legacy copper networks to next-generation networks, which is in the interests of end-users” and “to avoid unjustified delays to the migration”.

Thirdly, BEREC report misses to analyse an important aspect that may affect the migration to NGA/fiber networks, that is the price regulation of the wholesale copper access service (and FTTC). Indeed, it is recognised already by some NRAs (see for example Ofcom) and also by Visionary Analytics in its “Study on Regulatory Incentives for the Deployment of VHCNs in the Context of the Revision of the Commission’s Access Recommendations”1 that an increase/deregulation of the copper price may support the migration.

© ETNO 2022
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