Hayek committee proposes structural separation review

5 Jan 2011

A report submitted to the Israeli Ministry of Communications has recommended that a wholesale market for fixed line telephony should be created, Globes Online reports. As part of the report, which was published by a committee led by Amir Hayek, it was also suggested that there should be a review on the matter of structural separation as it applies to both fixed line incumbent Bezeq and the country’s only cableco with its own expansive fixed line infrastructure HOT Telecommunication Systems. Under the proposals alternative telcos would be able to obtain significant discounts for leasing large numbers of landline connections, which it is claimed would allow them to compete more effectively against the two infrastructure owners. The existing structural separation regime meanwhile requires that Bezeq offers internet access, international calls, satellite television and mobile services via subsidiaries, rather than directly, and communications minister Moshe Kahlon has initially indicated that, whilst he supports the general direction of the new proposals, he is keen to retain authority regarding the cancellation of structural separation, based on the development of competition in the country’s telecoms sectors.