Sweden’s Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) yesterday issued twin final decisions which ease regulation in wholesale broadband access markets, driven by positive competition developments as well as recent European Union (EU) recommendations. In the market for ‘central access’ (market ‘3b’, including bitstream access) the existing regulatory obligations have been repealed altogether, whilst in the market for ‘local access’ (market ‘3a’, including local loop unbundling [LLU]) price regulation has been eased on fibre-based connections.
In the market for local access (3a) the PTS has enhanced the ‘obligation of non-discrimination’ (or EoI – Equivalence of Input). This means that the incumbent PSTN operator, TeliaSonera, will provide the same services and information externally and internally and on the same terms, within the same time frame and with the same systems and processes. Under the new rules, on 1 December 2016 TeliaSonera will have implemented an ‘enhanced obligation of non-discrimination’ alongside the easing of price regulation for fibre access. Price regulation will subsequently be replaced by an obligation on economic replicability, meaning that TeliaSonera must not price discriminate on the wholesale market or unfairly squeeze retail market prices; other players may then compete on commercially reasonable terms.
The PTS notes that its decision to discontinue regulating the market for central access (3b) is based on the effective competition in the market, with TeliaSonera no longer deemed to hold the status of a dominant player.
Goran Marby, director general of the PTS, stated: ‘Sweden has a strong development in fibre deployment where multiple operators are investing. With these new rules we want to stimulate market competition and customer choice and provide conditions for continued investment.’