The Hungarian telecoms regulator, the National Communications Authority (NHH), has organised a professional forum to discuss Reference Unbundling Offers (RUOs) related to local loop unbundling (LLU) and local bitstream access. There are around 1.5 million broadband connections in the country, of which around 700,000 are ADSL, and since broadband was introduced, retail connection charges have dropped substantially, falling by 40% between 2002 and 2005, followed by a 30% drop between 2006 and 2007. For the consumer, this means that retail charges have dropped sequentially, first to below the HUF5,000 mark, then down to HUF3,000, and now some operators are offering services with a ‘free’ monthly fee. The NHH says that the leasing of local loops has also started and the number of leased loops is currently about 7,000, with equal shares of partial and full local loop leases. Local loop lease fees have also decreased in the past four years: the fees of partial local loop leasing dropped by 75%, while those of full leasing decreased by 25%. A large number of the one-off fees have been discontinued.
Topics discussed at the professional forum:
1. Providing and regulating the wholesale of unbundled pairs. Separation of unbundling from the concrete subscriber legal relationship.
2. Technical issues related to co‑location: the necessity to provide uninterrupted power supply; the requirements concerning minimum low‑voltage power supply and maximum dissipation; safe operation guaranteed (lack of air‑conditioning, conservation in relation to construction work, etc.); limitation to co‑location size.
3. Ensuring a connection option outside the real property of the notified service provider
4. Questions relating to the monthly fees for the full unbundling of or the shared access to local loops, and for accessing the local bitstream.
5. Problems in connection with the reasons for rejection: comments related to giving more details about rejections for technical reasons and to providing appropriate evidence to support such reasons for rejection, local loops unbundling problems arising in connection with office buildings and condominiums, sharing the parameters to be measured and the measured values with beneficiary service providers when performing measurements and examining the usability of lines, rejection for spectrum reasons (different ADSL annex types).
6. Issues about the volume and regulation of monthly fees related to co‑location.
7. Issues relating to the cancellation of subscriber contracts and changes concerning the service (re-location, transferring the subscription to another subscriber, moving to another service provider, migration issues relating to wholesale ADSL services provided with IP bitstream access or with local loop bundling, settling deadline calculations when changing from shared access to local loop to full LLU)
8. Access to the notified service provider’s database used to keep records about unused local loops (including the handover of the lines’ technical numbers and the data on their HDF position), comments regarding the management of requests submitted about unused local loops
9. Regulation of returning local loops
10. Error correction issues, the necessity of diagnostics, decrease the time requirement of error corrections.
11. Issues related to quality indexes (availability, error correction), i.e. differences between SLA and RUO requirements
12. Comments aimed at making local loops unbundling deadlines shorter (comments concerning unduly long performance deadlines, a need for decreasing administrative workload, complaints about performing local loop unbundling on specified workdays).