Regulator promises simpler, cheaper and faster LLU

9 Oct 2008

Hungary’s telecoms regulator the National Communications Authority of Hungary (NCAH) today published its resolutions concerning the reference offers of service providers with significant market power (SMP) for unbundled access to the local loop (ULL), thereby significantly reducing the one-off and continuous costs of unbundled access to the local loop, including the administrative expenses, NHH reported.

LLU in the country has not yet become widespread; the number of unbundled loops is less than 0.5% of the nearly 3.2 million active subscriber landlines, the watchdog reports. The NCAH hopes changes announced today may result in a breakthrough in this area – something it considers as ‘crucial from a competition perspective’, providing further opportunities for alternative service providers operating in the sector. According to the watchdog’s resolutions, service providers with SMP (Invitel, Magyar Telekom, and UPC as the legal successor of Monortel) will have to reduce the monthly fees for full unbundled access by 20%, with monthly fees for shared unbundled access and bitstream access to be reduced by an average 50%. The NCAH also hopes that measures to cut contracting and performance deadlines, and that a reduction of the administrative burdens on authorised service providers will result in a significantly faster loop unbundling process. Furthermore, competition may also be strengthened by the mandatory introduction of so-called ‘naked DSL’ installations based on bitstream access. The NCAH has also requested operators with SMP to submit new reference offers, modified in comparison to former Reference Unbundling Offers (RUO) to contain ‘those monthly and one-off wholesale fees and the service terms of service providers with significant market power, based on which authorised service providers can utilise full and shared unbundled access to the local loop (and the local bitstream service)’.