The European Commission (EC) has called on Polish telecoms regulator the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) to amend its proposals regarding access to the fibre networks of incumbent Telekomunikacja Polska (TP) – which operates under the Orange brand. The UKE had proposed that wholesale access to TP’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure be omitted from price regulations as an incentive for the telco to continue rolling out further networks. The EC’s recommendations on Next Generation Access Networks, however, call for regulators to lift cost-oriented pricing obligations only when strict non-discrimination regulations are in place to ensure equivalence of access. Without such measures in place, it is the Commission’s view that the proposals could have a negative impact on the market, by restricting the ability of alternative providers to compete with TP.
EC Vice President Neelie Kroes said: ‘Regulators throughout Europe, including Poland, must find the right balance between giving operators the incentive to invest in very fast internet and safeguarding competition. As a precondition for pricing flexibility, UKE should secure equivalent access for all operators to TP’s network, so that competition can be sustained on existing and new networks.’