Presentation of ANACOM's chairman at 7th FTTH Council Europe Conference

Let me begin by welcoming all participants in this event and by thanking the FTTH Council Europe both for organizing the 7th edition of FTTH Conference, here, in Lisbon, and for inviting ICP-ANACOM to speak in its official opening.

It's not a fully deserved distinction which, I'm sure, it's rather due to the interest and commitment ANACOM has part in pulling this Conference to Lisbon, responding promptly to a previous suggestion of the Portuguese representative of your Council, than to its institutional status as a National Regulator Authority. The merit of the Conference is fully in the hands of the FTTH Conference and our role was only that one of an enabler and facilitator and, from the very beginning, a small, but I think not irrelevant, sponsor of last resort.

The ANACOM's interest and commitment sprang both from the ''Portuguese fiber case'' (let one call it this way), also as a consequence of a political decision from the Portuguese government (but I'll skip this approach because I don't want to preempt the speech of the Prime Minister of Portuguese Government that, besides, is clearly more suitable to explain it than myself) and from the challenges that regulation must face to respond to the development of fiber networks.

Again, Portuguese NRA was one of the European regulator authorities which faster tried to deal with this new challenge, recognizing that some of the political decisions paved the way to a prompt and more open response, namely to the major issue of accessibility.

It's why we think Portugal deserves this Conference as you have here already plenty of fiber developments whose real economic and financial performance depends much less (or almost nothing) on the supply side but almost exclusively on the demand side, which means the implementation of successful business models.

Anyway, one with full legitimacy may wonder if the presence of the Regulator in this opening session fits with is need of independence vis a vis all the stake holders of the electronic communication markets. This question is still more pertinent having in mind that this Conference has a Parallel Session this afternoon for assessing the Regulatory Status, where regulators can meet and discuss the relevant issues, like last year in Copenhagen, where I've had the opportunity to participate in a very vivid session on regulation.

Without any intention to preempt that session, let me state that ANACOM and myself don't fill uncomfortable to be in this session. And why?

Because, firstly and I have already emphasized it is not mainly by its role of Regulator that ICP ANACOM was invited to be here, as ICP-ANACOM has, by its statute, other responsabilities in assisting the government in electronic communication and postal policies, which, besides, reinforced the foundations of ICP-ANACOM commitment on this Conference. But, make no mistakes.

Even as a regulator ANACOM has no problem to accept this invitation, because we see the famous ''neutrality'' as a dynamic concept, not a passive one. And it's why we prefer to describe one of the characteristics of an independent regulator by the idea of impartiality rather than neutrality.

To be impartial is to be unbiased, to have no prejudice towards or against any particular side and this in a dynamic vision, means to be in close contact, in a balanced manner, of course, with every stake holders and not to be away from them, with fear to be ''contaminated''.

And when we look to the regulation goals which are presented in the Portuguese Law of Electronic Communications, we can read, among other issues:

  • To promote competition in the supply of electronic communications of networks and services and to contribute to EU internal market.

Looking more deeply in the specific goals of promoting competition we can find:

  • to ensure that citizens can reach the maximum of benefits regarding the scope of choice, the price and the quality of services


  • to encourage efficient investment in infra structure and to promote innovation.

ANACOM has closely followed, through conferences, seminars and, mostly, technical visits to operators and to producers of fiber and fiber devices, the boom of innovative products (and how can a regulator fulfil its duty without a clear vision of technological development?) and the new opportunities to serve, in a more competitive and contestable environment, the needs of citizens and, last but not least, to strongly contribute to a reinforcement of connectivity and inter connection available for all. And this is the very goal of Regulation.

Dear President of FTTH, you have proposed to ''take our lives to new horizons''. I strongly wish that this conference may contribute to your vision. We will try to be part of this vision, which also will embody all the other technological platforms able to deliver electronic communications services in a co-opetitive manner.

Thank you.