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Telekom Ordered to Unbundle Fibre-Optic Local Loop

Ljubljana, 30 March (STA) - Telekom Slovenije, the majority state-owned telecoms incumbent, will have to give rival internet service providers access to its fibre-optic local loop in accordance with a decision issued by the telecommunications regulator on Wednesday.

The Agency for Post and Telecommunications (APEK) reached the decision after carrying out a biennial analysis of the market segment wholesale network infrastructure access.

The agency determined that Telekom is an operator with significant market access, which is why the market lacks efficient competition.

In practice this will mean that households and firms which have Telekom's fibre to the home network will be able to sign up not just with Telekom but with rival ISPs, who will pay Telekom a fee for network use.

APEK told the STA that Telekom now has 45 days to produce a sample contract for operators who want access to its local loop. The wholesale price has to be determined by 1 September and enter into effect on 1 October.

In the meantime, Telekom needs to ensure that it does not engage in abusive pricing.

APEK will also shortly issue a decision on the market segment wholesale broadband access.

Telekom did not immediately comment, but at the end of last year, when the regulator's decision was already clear, Telekom said it would lose EUR 16m in revenue per year.

It also said investments in fibre-optics in the countryside would ground to a halt, as it was not financially feasible to build a network in such areas only to have to give access to competitors.

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