The Norwegian Post & Telecoms Regulatory Authority (NPT) has announced it will continue to impose specific obligations on fixed line incumbent Telenor Norge for wholesale (physical) network infrastructure access (including shared or fully unbundled access) at a fixed location (market 4) and wholesale broadband access (market 5). In unveiling its decision the NPT noted that, having conducted an updated analysis of the wholesale markets in question, it had concluded Telenor still held significant market power (SMP) in both.
Moreover, the NPT has also revealed that it will make some changes to regulations, the most notable of which is that access to Telenor’s fibre network will now be controlled. The watchdog’s previous market analysis and decision of 3 April 2009 ruled that due to the limited deployment of the telco’s fibre network, access to it would not be regulated. However, due to what the NPT called Telenor’s increasing activity in the fibre sector – through both its development of its own network and via its acquisition of other fibre providers – it believes it is now necessary to impose both access obligations and price controls on such infrastructure.
In addition, with the regulator arguing that Telenor’s fibre initiatives will lead to a ‘marginalisation’ of the copper access network in some areas, it has said that it views access to the traditional infrastructure as important for competition. To that end, and with a view to protecting the interests of end users, the NPT has confirmed that it is introducing price controls on copper-based broadband access, while also noting that it will adjust the maximum price for local loop unbundling (LLU) of copper connections; the price cap for fully unbundled lines will fall from NOK95 (USD16.5) to NOK85 per month, while the maximum price for shared access will be half of that, adjusted for special costs. With regards to other products and services in the market for copper-based LLU, Telenor will be required to continue with cost-orientated pricing, with a similar pricing methodology also applying to fibre-based LLU connections.
The NPT has invited comments on its proposals, and has set a deadline of 2 November 2012 for submissions.