The sector of telecommunications, and especially everything which affects operators, is very regulated. Is not only that we speak of a fundamental sector for everyday life and society at this time, is that both the Spanish CNMC and by the corresponding European authorities have always watched by the same: maintaining the level of competition. In fact, they are so strict that they have already achieved an abortion more than one purchase or merger of operators intrapais operation.
And after years in which we had the completely outdated broadband sector regulation, the Spanish regulator has finally approved a new regulation, which obliges to Movistar Open its fibre network to competitors in all Spain, except in cities with at least other two deployments of fiber or cable. This number of questions remain in the air: who does it benefit this new regulation? There are handicapped as well as the own Movistar?
What he teaches exactly the new regulation?
Going to the detail of the resolution, the CNMC has established two geographical zones which differ by the presence of other fixed networks of new generation (fiber and cable). The competitive area is understood by the populations in which there is at least three operators with fiber or cable in a minimum of 20% of households, While other cities belong to the non-competitive area.
In the competitive area, bounded by 66 populations that comprise 35% of the Spanish population, Movistar fiber will continue to be used exclusively by Movistar, but not in the non-competitive area. In that area, Movistar will have to give rivals access to its fibre network virtually through NEBA, a wholesale offer in which pay for the flow and traffic, your choice.
In NEBA alternative operators pay for consumed traffic and flow
The big difference with respect to the previous regulation is not the opening of the fiber, since before already could access any operator, if not that removed the limit of 30 Mbps of download that it could give alternative operators until now. This limit left have felt long ago and attached to Movistar was used by launching faster connections rivals have hardly used so far NEBA.
That Yes, there are two important nuances to take into account in this new regulation. On the one hand Movistar has 18 months to publish its wholesalers offer, what It gives you time to continue getting out of fiber, then you can go to another carrier, but they will be among their ranks at least. The other is the price of wholesale access.
It is the responsibility of Movistar to set that price, although the CNMC will make their accounts to estimate if it is appropriate for the Vodafone, Orange and other competition can replicate its rival offer. The problem can come for tolerance that applies the controller, since to a high price might be no operator, again, interested in accessing the fiber of Movistar.
Movistar against all
Waiting to know the resolution in full and the position of Movistar on it, we can get an idea of how will be the sides: the main involved against the new regulations and all the rest in favor. This was the case when the draft was published back in October, when Movistar already put in doubt the future of its fiber deployment (that wanted to reach almost all Spain by 2020) and its rivals is congratulated, without exaggeration nor.
Beside only Movistar we saw on that occasion to the unions, they criticized that the opening of the ex-monopolio fiber would a reduction of the investment and hence employment both Movistar, lacking the incentive of a network of exclusive use, and its rivals, which do not need to invest in areas where Movistar already has their fiber, although the latter ensured that it would keep its investment rhythm and deployment plans.
What implications does for users?
We have already known the positions of the various involved, detail of the changes posed by this new regulation… But what interests us is really in what is going to affect a users foot the new regulation. And affect us much, of course.
The areas in which there are fiber deployed competition, if the price of wholesale access is interesting, will increase. To be able to access everything you want to Movistar fiber, we will see more offers, already not only of large operators that we all know, also invited to the sector operators, local or even new. And more competition is assumed that it translates into a lower prices, that evil would not come after the increases we’re seeing lately.
But on the other hand, there are a significant risk for who still do not have any fiber network: that take long to have it. The new regulation is for Movistar a disincentive to continue pulling fiber, because at the end it is within a network that has been paid from his pocket as a private company. If Movistar does not carry its fiber and the other operators are not interested in unprofitable areas for them (even if they are committed to continue with its plans) will be people who take years to see the fiber. Of course that may also be bad news for employment, especially for the workers of installation companies.
Say that we walked towards a Spain at two speeds is not entirely correct, we already live in it
Now, we must point out that say that we walked to the Spain of two speeds, very used expression these days, is not entirely correct, we already live in a country at two speeds. Those who live in large urban centres we realize to distance ourselves from them that the fiber or even decent ADSL immediately disappear. What could happen that gap deepens even more? True, but the gap already existed.
Therefore, it seems that the new regulation brings us a lime and sand. By the side of the increased competition is good but it doesn’t seem to go too encourage the deployment, at least those of Movistar. It is early to draw conclusions, because the price of wholesale access is paramount, but we can already go by us to the idea of what is going to happen in the near future.