NGN investment policy

Publié le par Jean Arnal


From time to time, problems tied to the deployment of a next-generation broadband network surface and every body is aware they are huge risky investments. Last year we successively heard the story of Telstra and DT, struggling with local (or regional) regulators. The basic question was (and still is): Do regulators allow the creation of (new) incumbent-like carriers that can rent their network as they want (meaning distorted competition and competitive disadvantage for new comers)? A way to restore competition is to cap wholesale prices, but the operator that takes the risk of deploying a new network is not sure to recoup its expenses. In addition, past and current situation demonstrate some limit of this model. An alternative solution is more and more discussed. Can a government establish a national development agency (made of state departments, financial institutions, operators, vendors,...) be in charge of collecting funds, insure some reasonable and predictable level of return on equity and establish clear rules of using the network? Australia is opening the road with an ambitious plan to set up a national fiber optic network. UK' s Ofcom intends to explore this way in setting up a pro-investment framework for next generation, super-fast broadband networks. And the initiative is debated across the EU in different countries. The question is simple: operators seem convinced to need high-speed broadband networks, how can they be funded in a fair, reasonable and equitable way? To be continued.....

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