On March 11, 2013, BEREC (Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications) provided an update to its opinion of EU Commission’s draft Recommendation, on non-discrimination obligations and costing methodology for regulated wholesale network access.
BEREC fully supported the EC’s overarching objective to encourage high-speed internet investment across Europe and EC’s strategic objective of ensuring predictable and stable access copper prices, effective non-discrimination obligations that sustain competition, and pricing flexibility for such services to meet demand.
In its opinion, BEREC pointed out that effective non-discrimination rules are essential for competition, ensuring a level playing field between incumbents and new entrants, and that EOI is in principle the surest way to achieve this. In addition, BEREC highlighted that wholesale pricing flexibility has an important role to play in supporting investment in NGA, and shared the Commission’s desire to avoid any unanticipated consequences of linking the lifting of cost orientation obligations to the imposition of non-discrimination obligations. Moreover, BEREC agreed with the Commission that ex ante economic replicability tests may be needed to prevent abusive pricing behaviour by dominant operators. Ultimately, BEREC supported the Commission’s aim of achieving predictable and stable copper prices in line with the principle of cost orientation, which will help encourage efficient investment in NGA and provide a competitive safeguard to third-party access seekers.