The EC has rejected a move by Sweden’s Post and Telecom Agency (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS) to implement a single national market regulation for wholesale local access to fibre-optic services. The PTS, which was the first regulator in Europe to define a separate market for fibre network regulation, says it will resume its market analysis in light of the EC’s ruling.
The EC statement says: ‘Typically, fibre networks in Sweden do not overlap geographically; only limited numbers of larger apartment buildings are connected to more than one network. Prices for wholesale access are often different across the country, depending on the provider and other conditions such as density. There is no evidence of either demand or supply substitutability between operators. For these reasons, the Commission considers that competitive conditions are not sufficiently homogeneous across the entire country to conclude on one, national market.’
Rikard Englund, head of market regulation at the PTS, commented: ‘That the regulation has the right balance between competition and investment in high speed broadband is important for Sweden but also for the EU Commission and other EU countries. It is therefore positive that the issue will be carefully investigated in this context as well.’