Consultation report and subsequent actions

/ / Updated on 08.03.2007

The position of the ICP particularly takes into account the European Parliament and the Council's proposal of Regulation, on unbundled access to the local loop, which is currently in the final stage of approval.

This regulation envisages that, as from the 31st of December 2000:

  • The operator notified with significant market power in fixed telephone networks and/or fixed telephone services (Notified Operator - NO) submits a reference offer for LLU, including matters related to collocation;
  • The NO deals with reasonable requests for unbundled access to the local loop, under transparent, fair and non-discriminatory conditions.

Within this context, ICP approved the following preliminary positions on the matter:

1. Considering that the objectives of investment in alternative infrastructures will be better achieved if the LLU were understood to constitute a complementary resource to the networks that include other infrastructures, the LLU, in principle, without prejudice to the supervening legislation, could be applied for by public telecommunications network operators that have set up business and that satisfy the conditions foreseen in their licensing project, except in duly justified cases.

2. ICP does not consider desirable to create incentives for inefficient entries in the market. Thus, the development of a secondary market of subscriber lines, consolidated in artificial arbitration opportunities supported in the difference between an asset offered at cost oriented prices and its eventual yielding at market prices should not be promoted. Within this context:

a. The Requesting Operator (RO) may not, in any case, yield the local loop to third parties;

b. the application for any access to the local loop must be based on actual demand. If the said demand is not confirmed or ceases, utilisation of the local loop should revert back to the NO.

3. Full unbundling will constitute a priority solution for the implementation of LLU within the framework of the operativity of the LLU. All market agents and especially the NO must, except any eventual temporary technical restrictions resulting from the proximity of the expiry date of the current Regulation proposal, make the utmost effort to make this provision available from 31/12/2000.

4. Although it does not constitute a variant of the LLU, bitstream access, should be offered in principle from the moment that the NO begins to provide DSL services, in accordance with the principle of non-discrimination, within the terms of article 33 of the Regulations for the Operation of the Fixed Telephone Service.

5. The implementation of shared access could benefit from the experience acquired with the implementation of full unbundling, in which case its operation could be carried out in parallel to the operation of full unbundling.

6. The supply of access at intermediate points of the local loop should be weighed up, particularly in situations where there are hybrid solutions of a metallic pair and fibre optic in the access network, and, as in shared access, its implementation may be carried out in parallel to the operativity of full unbundling.

7. The price of the LLU to be proposed by the NO should be cost-orientated. This price, to be periodically re-evaluated, will be evaluated by ICP based on the following principles:

a. Considering that currently the cost orientation principle may be assessed from the audited costing system based on the NO's historic costs, costs to be considered initially can have as a reference the data coming from the analytical accounting system of this operator, without prejudice to consideration of the current practice in the European Union. The data from the NO's costing system indicate some progress in tariff re-balancing of the monthly subscription for analogue access, even though currently there is an operational deficit.

b. A move towards the adoption of models based on long-run incremental costs (LRICs), is not to be excluded, and it is to be admitted that this methodology permits a complementary perspective that could be suitable for efficient and sustainable entrances to the market and for efficient use of the telecommunications infrastructure.

c. The establishment of average prices throughout the country for the LLU, by promoting greater use of the NO's network and the consequent offer of alternative services in non-urban areas, could contribute towards the promotion of info-inclusion.

d. In principle and in an initial phase, the remaining relevant categories may be analysed from the perspective of incurred costs.

8. Without prejudice to the offer of other types of collocation, it is considered that conditions for physical collocation should be guaranteed. The space destined for collocation should not be used for purposes other than those strictly necessary for the use of the local loop. In addition, remote collocation as much as virtual collocation will be offered, whenever viable. In cases where there is the interest of several ROs, priority will be given to the sharing of space between operators, whenever possible.

9. In principle, quality of service indicators applicable to the subscriber's line resulting from the implementation of the LLU should be compatible, in analogue situations, with the quality of service indicators that the NO fulfils in complying with the applicable regulatory provisions of the organizations notified as having significant market power in the relevant market.
It is considered that the definition of a non-discriminatory Service Level Agreement (SLA) within the scope of a Reference Offer for LLU, which represents the notified operator's commitment to guarantee a particular level of quality of service, through specification of conditions with a tendency to clearly and unambiguously ensure the rigour and fulfilment of the stipulated conditions, could constitute a relevant instrument within the scope of the LLU..

10. In order to guarantee the safety and integrity of the network, the NO should, if necessary, submit a "power spectrum density mask" proposal, which should not be so restrictive as to inhibit the introduction and utilisation of new technologies in the access network.

11. In cases where the end user intends to change network operator, it is considered, in similarity with other situations like pre-selection, that priority should be given to the commercial relationship between the end user and the RO. Any necessary contacts with the NO should be maintained through the RO, and procedures should be carried out by the RO on application by the end user that is duly validated by a contractual relationship between the two. In principle, there is no reason why contracts held between the end user and the RO should not be in writing.

12. The constitution of a working group (WG) was proposed at the time when the Recommendation of the European Commission on LLU was being discussed. In consideration of the developments that have taken place meanwhile, in particular with the publication of the European Parliament and the Council's Regulatory proposal of Regulation on LLU, and bearing in mind the deadlines indicated for implementation of the LLU, on the full unbundling variant, it may became necessary to weigh up the scope of the WG. Within this framework, there should be discussion of the aspects in need of harmonisation and co-operation among their parts. The constitution and functioning of the working group should consequently occur simultaneously and in parallel with the operability of the LLU, in order to ensure actual implementation of the LLU within the deadline stipulated.

13. The NO will be requested a set of pieces of information and items relevant within the framework of preparation of the Reference Offer for ULL, covering the whole of the MDF sites in the ON's network. In particular, information should be provided relative to the sites considered as points of interconnection in the RIO 2000, which cover about 90% of the accesses in Lisbon, 85% of the accesses of Oporto and 25% of the accesses in the remaining geographic numbering zones.

14. In order to meet the deadlines proposed, the NO should prepare a proposal of Reference Offer for ULL, in conformity particularly with the items contained in the Appendix of the Recommendation of the European Commission on the ULL, by 30/11/2000.

In these terms, the information to be transmitted by the notified operator - PT Comunicações, SA - before 30/11/2000, including a proposal of Reference Offer for ULL, should particularly have regard to the items contained in the list approved for the effect by the ICP.