The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its revised draft Recommendation for the regulation of next generation access (NGA) broadband networks. A previous public consultation, which took place at the end of 2008, showed general support for a common regulatory approach to NGA broadband access to avoid Single Market distortions and create legal certainty for stakeholders. Comments received from stakeholders in the course of the 2008 consultation have been used by the Commission to prepare the revised draft Recommendation.

This revised draft aims to develop a pan-European framework in order to provide national regulators across Europe with clear guidance on the regulatory approach to be taken to ensure investment in NGA networks while guaranteeing effective competition. The draft includes mechanisms to divide the investment risk between investors and operators seeking access to NGA networks. It also defines conditions under which co-investment schemes could be deemed pro-competitive. In addition, the draft provides that deployment by the dominant operator of multiple fibres could justify less stringent regulatory obligations.

The public consultation will be open until 24 July 2009. The Commission plans to take the comments into account and adopt the final Recommendation by the end of 2009.