ANACOM imposes upon PTC the decrease of prices, time limits and quality indicators within the conduit offer

ANACOM - National Communications Authority has approved a determination on the alterations to the Reference Conduit Access Offer (RCAO) of PTC and to the procedures for the creation, maintenance and update of a database with descriptive information on conduits and associated infrastructure. PTC is now under the obligation to amend the RCAO accordingly within a 15-day deadline. The RCAO will enter into force thirty days after the determination of ICP-ANACOM has been approved.

The alterations made by ANACOM concern the reduction of prices, the definition of quality indicators and the setting of time limits and targets to the service provided by PT Comunicações.

According to the decision of the regulatory authority, the prices to be applied by PTC within the scope of the RCAO show a fall that varies between 6% and 42%, when compared to the proposal of the incumbent, and in some cases the reduction is even higher. Such is the case of prices for occupying space in conduits and sub-conduits, which were defined taking into account the effective space occupation (per Km and cm2), in contrast to the proposal made by PTC, which consisted of an exclusive occupation of each sub-conduit by a beneficiary entity. For example, the occupation of a sub-conduit by 20mm diameter cables (single cable) and 10mm diameter cables (two cables), all of which with 1 Km length, in the Lisbon and Oporto areas, shall be charged €49,9 (no VAT included), which implies a price decrease by 76% when compared to the €210 (no VAT included) which resulted from the PTC proposal (that corresponded to the exclusive use of the sub-conduit by the beneficiary entity).

Other alterations made to the RCAO include the possibility granted to alternative operators to gain access to the conduits and associated infrastructure of PTC in order to carry out installation and maintenance work, among other work, by means of a list of bodies already approved by PTC.

The regulatory authority has also defined quality indicators for services provided by PTC and the respective time limits/targets, having also established compensation for non-compliance with targets for the indicators ''Time limit to reply to a request for information on underground infrastructures'' and ''Time limit to reply to a request for occupation feasibility'', in 50 euros for each day of non-compliance, as a way to encourage the compliance with set targets.

Taking into consideration the need to promote the optimisation of the RCAO by making available the information on the records of conduits and associated infrastructure, ICP-ANACOM determined furthermore a set of alterations to be introduced in the procedures for the creation, maintenance and update of a database with descriptive information on conduits and associated infrastructure. These alterations concern mainly the definition of a detailed and phased time-tabling both for the database operation process and for a catalogue of records of conduits and associated infrastructures, taking into account the need to optimize this offer by making available a database. ICP-ANACOM deems also that these are fundamental measures that will enable alternative operators to be aware of the available conduits and the state they are in, thus making possible an appropriate planning of operations.

ANACOM considers that the effective and timely implementation of the RCAO is an extremely important matter as far as the promotion of conditions for competition and development in the communications market is concerned, by creating externalities for the Portuguese economy resulting from investments made by several economic actors.

In this context, the investment in conduits and associated infrastructure must be compatible with economic efficiency criteria, by avoiding the inefficient duplication of infrastructures as well as inconvenience for citizens and economic activities resulting from the frequent and extensive work on the ground and underground, with the subsequent disruption at the level of traffic and territorial planning, not to mention the environmental repercussions involved.

Table. Quality indicators and respective time limits/targets
Time limit to reply to a request for information on underground infrastructures 5 working days
Time limit to reply to a request for occupation feasibility 15 calendar days
Time limit to schedule the monitoring of non-urgent intervention operations 24 consecutive hours
Time limit to schedule the monitoring of urgent intervention operations 8 consecutive hours
Readiness level of the monitoring service PTC must guarantee that 95% of the monitoring services take place on the dates requested