Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Europe 2006 review - functional separation

ETNO and UNI Telecom, the global telecom union, jointly call for the Review to encourage investment and jobs

Brussels – In a joint statement to the EU policy makers published today, ETNO and UNI Europa Telecom, recall the key impact of the EU telecoms rules on investment in the sector and hence, on jobs.

“In line with the Jobs and Growth strategy, the review should focus on measures that will stimulate large-scale investments in new access networks and boost quality employment in the sector. Better regulation would be the kind that adequately protects citizen, consumer and user interests while, at the same time, reduces the regulatory burden on those markets that have reached competitive maturity”, says Neil Anderson, UNI Telecom.

“The deployment of next generation access networks is essential for Europe’s society and economy. The inclusion of such a far reaching remedy as functional separation would be detrimental to much needed investment in access networks and would not be the right answer to this challenge”, says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

UNI and ETNO acknowledge the intention of the European Commission to remove some markets (in particular retail) from the list of markets subject to ex ante regulation. Reducing regulatory burden on retail markets will boost competition and innovation for the benefit of consumers.

UNI and ETNO are, however, concerned that the debate on the Review focuses currently on how to favour short-term competition at the service level, where it is already thriving. The introduction of new far-reaching remedies may discourage risky investment by all players in new and alternative access infrastructure.

Recent external studies, published by ETNO and UNI, show that intense access regulation does not encourage an optimal environment for new infrastructure investment.

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