Is a fine-tuning approach sufficient for EU NGA policy? A global review around the long-lasting debate

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In this paper, regulatory policies with regard to Next Generation Access (NGA) networks are analysed through a four-part categorisation: (i) conventional type (i.e., copper-based) regulation, (ii) no imposition of mandatory access, (iii) regulatory holiday, and (iv) full deregulation. While EU’s regulatory policy towards NGA originally has been falling somewhere between the first two, the recent developments affirm the influence of long-standing conventional approach over the emerging NGA platforms, and related competition and investment strategies. While US experience clearly exhibits full deregulation, some other countries’ (e.g., Turkey, Brazil) NGA policy decisions represent an approach corresponding to the third category in general. This study mainly focuses on the EU’s regulatory history from the beginning till its current NGA strategy under the light of 2010 and 2013 Recommendations with an emphasis on recent pricing policy adopted by the latter. In the paper, after examining EU regulatory perspective and broadband market indicators in general, ‘ladder of investment’ theory which has driven growth of EU investment policies, was found having limited success and stuck to LLU rung. This study, putting an emphasis to 2020 Digital Agenda targets, focuses on price-based investment trade-offs, and in lieu of such trade-off policies proposes larger scale optimisation displacing the historical regulatory access and pricing schemes that are vulnerable and exposed to regulatory commitment and dynamic consistency problems. It is considered that rather than 2013 Recommendation’s way of fine-tuning over conventional wisdom of regulation, an overhaul consisting of some elements derivable from regulatory holiday – as is found preferable to full deregulation – is applicable under certain conditions, particularly symmetric obligations for sharing civil engineering infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)957
Number of pages979
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2015


  • NGA
  • Regulation
  • Investment
  • Competition
  • European Commission
  • EU regulatory framework
  • Regulatory holiday
  • Deregulation


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