UKE accepts ‘unjustifiable’ EC recommendations

31 Aug 2012

Polish regulator the Office of Electronic Communication (UKE) has reluctantly accepted alterations to its proposed wholesale broadband access regulations at the behest of the European Commission (EC). As reported by CommsUpdate, the EC questioned UKE’s plan to omit fibre-optic access networks from strict price regulation, saying that such action would be detrimental to competition. Whilst the UKE maintained its position – that its proposals regarding the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure of Telekomunikacja Polska (TP) posed no threat to the sector – it has acquiesced to the EC’s recommendations. Over the next month, the UKE will write into its regulations additional measures to safeguard competition in the FTTH segment such as accounting separation for FTTH products, and the publication of FTTH-related key performance indicators (KPIs).

A statement from the UKE called the EC’s measures ‘premature, unjustified and unjustifiable’ given that TP does not at present have any developed FTTH networks in operation. TP has been gradually replacing its copper infrastructure, largely with fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) and fibre-to-the-node (FTTN), while only newly constructed properties have access to FTTH.

Magdalena Gaj, the UKE’s president added that the watchdog would conduct a new analysis of the wholesale broadband access market and choose appropriate regulatory measures. Further, Gaj suggested that the EC’s recommendations would have a negative impact on the evolution of Poland’s broadband sector: ‘Development of FTTH networks is in its infancy, so the regulations should be reasonable and proportionate to the current situation of the Polish market. Applying the full burden on the newly built expensive network can cause significant delays [to network rollouts].’