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ETNO Costing Workshop "A disruptive change to costing methodologies will compromise the achievement of the Digital Agenda broadband targets"


08 Feb 2012



BRUSSELS – Approximately  one  hundred participants from the European Commission, national regulators and  Member States as well as industry representatives, academics and investors participated in an ETNO workshop entitled ”How to boost investment in next generation access networks: the impact of regulated prices on investments”. The workshop was organised under the auspices of the London School of Economics.

“ETNO members are fully committed to pursue the DAE targets. In today’s difficult economic context for the sector and faced with a revenue decline for the third year in a row, what is needed is a proactive policy that reassures investors and reinforces the principles of technological neutrality, infrastructure competition as well as regulatory certainty, investors’ commitment to deploy high speed infrastructures needs a high degree of predictability. Disruptive changes to established costing methodologies, resulting in lower copper prices, would on the contrary further reduce investor confidence”, says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chair.

“The commercially driven contribution to achieving the broadband targets of the Digital Agenda will be maximised through a mix of technologies and platforms. Reducing copper prices would unambiguously harm investment by all potential investors. It would not only hinder the achievement of the Digital Agenda goals but undermine platform competition and consumer choice, guiding principles of the EU Regulatory Framework”, says Brian Williamson, Plum Consulting, author of the report entitled “Copper pricing and the fibre transition – escaping a cul-de-sac”.

Lowering the price of existing network assets by deviating from established costing methodology would moreover negatively affect investor expectations on long-term returns from fibre networks.

ETNO members call for the following actions in order to boost new network deployment by all potential investors:

- a technology neutral approach to maximize the potential of different NGA platforms in different geographic and competition circumstances, including FTTH/B, VDSL and VDSL vectoring, Cable/DOCSIS 3.0 and high-speed mobile broadband on LTE.

- A more targeted regulation of next generation access networks, taking into account the increased competitive pressure of alternative platforms. This includes appropriate wholesale pricing flexibility on new fibre-based networks to enable price differentiation at retail level and allow the investor to tap consumer demand.

- Geographic segmentation of markets as foreseen by the EU communications framework and adequate symmetric access to increase investment incentives by all players and safeguard consumer choice.

- Measures to bridge the digital divide including the opening up of additional spectrum bands to maximise the potential of mobile and wireless broadband networks in remote and rural areas and the use of public funds in those areas where private investment is not viable. The additional fund of €9.2 billion to be made available through the Connecting Europe Facility can play an important role to complement private investment and bridge the digital divide. It must be allocated in a non-discriminatory and technological-neutral way.

- Policies to increase consumer demand and take up, including the removal of barriers for the deployment of e-services such as e-government, e-call, e-energy, e-learning, e-health and the acceleration of the digital single market for online content and services.

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Director for Communications and Public Policy Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail:

ETNO’s 40 member companies and 10 observers from Europe and beyond represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than €600 billion and employ over 1.6 million people. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.


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