Israel’s MoC considering allowing IBC to expand service range; Bezeq planning to object

16 Jan 2020

Israel’s fixed line incumbent Bezeq has revealed that it has received a hearing document from the Ministry of Communications (MoC) in which the latter proposes allowing wholesale broadband provider Israel Broadband Company (IBC) to offer a ‘reverse bundle service’, as well as additional services to major commercial users. In a press release regarding the matter, Bezeq said that in the hearing document, the regulator confirmed it was considering approving an application from IBC which would allow the latter ‘to act in cooperation with access providers in such a way that IBC and the access provider will contract jointly with the end customer, with the access provider supplying the end customer the IBC infrastructure service for the internet and access to the internet, and IBC will provide the end customer associated services (‘reverse bundle service’).’ In addition, consideration is also reportedly being given as to whether IBC should be allowed to sell its services directly to commercial end users and act as an ISP within that sector.

According to the hearing document, approval of the applications is expected to be granted at the same time as the setting of conditions, which will include: approval to market the reverse bundle service for either a limited period of five years or until 400,000 end users have been signed up, whichever comes first; and the retention of existing obligations related to structural separation and a prohibition on preferential treatment so as to ensure healthy competition in the fixed infrastructure market.

For its part, Bezeq has said it is studying the hearing document, but has already said it intends to object to the recommendations it puts forward.