Spanish telecoms regulator the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) has approved an increase in the monthly charge levied by fixed line incumbent Telefonica de Espana for the rental of a fully unbundled local loop service. According to the watchdog, local loop unbundled (LLU) access will now be charged at EUR8.32 (USD12) per month, a 6.8% increase compared to the previous rate of EUR7.79 per month. The CMT, which regularly reviews Telefonica’s charges for such services, said that it was allowing the increased charge as it had found that the telco was incurring extra costs by offering the wholesale service. Despite the price rise the regulator remains keen to point out the relatively low cost of LLU services by comparison to its European neighbours, with the CMT claiming that Spain still boasts the fourth cheapest local loop rental cost in Europe. Further, the CMT also pointed to reductions in other wholesale service prices in previous months, including a drop in the fee payable by alternative operators for the energy that their respective co-located equipment uses in Telefonica’s local exchanges.
According to the CMT, at the end of 2010 there were approximately 2.5 million fully unbundled local loops in Spain, representing around 24% of all broadband connections in the country, and more than double the number in operation some three years earlier.