ANACOM's response to European Commission Recommendation submitted to public consultation

ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações is maintaining its decision not to impose regulation on access to fibre held by MEO, and has decided to submit its draft response to the European Commission's Recommendation to public consultation.

ANACOM considers that its decision is the one that best safeguards the interests of the country and of citizens, promoting coverage of the territory by next generation networks (NGN) and combatting digital exclusion. Portugal is a unique case in Europe and a case of success in terms of the development of next generation networks, not only due to the high level of territorial coverage but also due to the fact that competition exists based on multiple network infrastructures.

In fact, for the most part, access enjoyed by alternative operators is based on their own infrastructure - investment in this infrastructure has been possible mainly due to the obligations imposed on MEO by ANACOM, specifically the imposition of access by other operators to its network of ducts and posts, reducing the construction costs of high-speed networks by as much as 80%.

From the regulator's point of view, strengthening measures regulating access to ducts and posts, complemented by the proposed changes to Decree-Law 123 of 2009 is the most appropriate way to increase competition in the Portuguese market and to promote development of next generation networks in Portugal. These regulatory measures contribute to reducing the costs of NGN deployment, so that, in areas which still lack high-speed networks, all operators face similar conditions for investing in the development of their own infrastructure.

For these reasons, given the measures already in place and taking into account the specific conditions of the Portuguese market, ANACOM considers the European Commission Recommendation as neither fitting nor appropriate.

The present public consultation will run for a period of 20 working days.