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EC Welcomes Luxembourg's Decision To Open Broadband Market To Further Competition

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

06 November 2006


In a letter recently sent to the telecom regulator of Luxembourg, Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation, the European Commission welcomed a regulatory measure proposed by ILR at the end of September that will give new market entrants high-speed access to end-customers (or bit-stream access) via the broadband networks of Luxembourg’s telecom incumbent EPT (Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications).

EPT is the only supplier in the relevant market, thus having 100% market share in the relevant wholesale market.

The remedies proposed by ILR will require Luxembourg’s telecom incumbent to open its broadband networks to competitors by allowing them to purchase a high speed access link to the customer premises from EPT with transmission capacity for broadband data in both direction, thus enabling new entrants to offer their own, value-added services to end users.

Under the terms proposed by ILR, bitstream access will need to be granted by EPT also to a future VDSL (very high speed digital subscriber line) infrastructure.

The Commission especially welcomed the fact that the remedy proposed requires bitstream access regardless of the technology used by EPT (ADSL2, ADSL2+ and VDSL). However, it urged the regulator to ensure that the remedy applied is effective in ensuring competition to the benefit of consumers.

“Opening the broadband market in Luxembourg to more competition will lead to better services and lower internet access prices for consumers," observed Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.

She continued:

"I however note that the effectiveness of the measures now to be adopted by the regulator in Luxembourg is crucial. While bitstream access will be made available to new market entrants in Internet protocol (IP)-mode now, it may be necessary for ILR, if retail prices remain high, to impose in the future further bitstream access at other levels than IP, taking into account the current demand from competitors for a more flexible wholesale input, which would allow for more differentiated retail products."


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