Monday, June 02, 2008

Incufiber: the case for structural separation

On Wednesday I will be in Rome for a keynote speech at a telecoms forum. I will be talking about FTTH, incumbents (can I trademark the term 'incufiber'?) and structural separation.

Digging into the subject, that Paul Budde down-under apparently has been researching also, I was reminded of the perennial complaint KPN has about regulation: there is no symmetry when it comes to regulating copper and coax. (OPTA, the Dutch NRA, defends this position, referring to its approach (market-by-market), but is looking into extended regulation of cablecos at the same time.)

There are plenty of arguments in favor of structural separation, and one of them is symmetry. How can competition ever by 'symmetrical' if there is no symmetry between the incumbent and its wholesale partners? Unless of course there is full structural separation. Go on, KPN, call for symmetry - as long as you realize that it will lead to structural separation of your own company.
(Assuming that the EC will not stear toward a US-style cable/telco duopoly and as long as full network replication is not deemed economically viable.)