The FTTH Council Europe says it congratulates the policy-makers for this landmark agreement and welcomes the new Code, which promotes competitive investments in future-proof digital infrastructures like full fibre and 5G.
Since the publication of the European Commission’s proposal in September 2016, the FTTH Council Europe has been advocating for the final text to find the right balance between rewarding investment risk and ensuring fair competition.
“Today, the co-legislators paved the way towards a long-term competitive market structure by creating a favourable environment for all investors -both traditional and new- to play an active role in building our digital highways” highlighted Ronan Kelly, President of the FTTH Council Europe.
For the first time, investment in very-high capacity (VHC) networks is becoming a legally binding objective of the regulatory framework alongside competition, the creation of the single market and consumer benefits. This new Code marks a shift compared to the previous regulatory framework as it addresses the urgent need for step-change infrastructure investments in Europe and supports the evolution of the telecom market towards a long term competitive structure. Even more importantly the parameters defining the VHC networks will be built on the characteristics of fibre.
“There is clearly a momentum for fibre investment” says Erzsébet Fitori, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe. “We see a lot of the emerging wholesale-only vehicles backed by new types of investors and now there is also more room for step change investments made in a safeguarded competitive structure to be governed by a commercially driven scheme. There is opportunity in the new Code for full fibre investors and a win-win for end-users, who will benefit from fibre based connectivity and long-term competition.”
While the level of complexity of the framework remains high, the FTTH Council says it welcomes these new rules, which will stimulate investments and deliver benefits to European citizens and businesses. The National Regulatory Authorities and BEREC will therefore have a crucial role in applying the new Code to boost fibre across the European Union.