- Mobile in Spain: Orange and Yoigo (TeliaSonera) in transmission infrastructure.
- Mobile TV in Hungary: T-Mobile and Vodafone.
- Fiber-to-the-business in the Carolinas: Charter and TWC.
- Duct sharing in Spain: Telefonica has to open up, according to new CMT plans (see also this remarkably readable Google translation).
As to the latter, I have noticed quite some resistance (revulsion is perhaps a better word) against governments getting involved, either through regulation or through direct investment. My personal view is that there is nothing a priori wrong with government bodies taking part, especially when you do not see them as intrinsically bad. They can afford a longer horizon, when public companies cannot. Add to that the view that open access is the way forward, allowing network operators to maximize utility rates of their networks.
By way of reality check: what if you really want to insist on the market taking care - in this case: of building FTTH?
All you have to do is drop one of the two basic assumptions (FTTH = end game; 1 network should suffice). Obviously, it would be the second. This would mean that we would potentially end up with perhaps 3 fibers entering our homes: one telco, one cableco, one (or more) altnet. This is pretty much what CMT (the Spanish NRA) seems to be aiming at, if I interpret the Cinco Dias story on the current market consultation correctly:
- "(...) want competition in infrastructure, not only in services".
- "(...) the abandonment of the idea of a single Spain (...) two types of areas, the competitive and the non-competitive." Alas Ms. Reding: fragmentation seems unavoidable.
- "Telefonica will not be obliged to open its network to rivals whenever a new pure fiber infrastructure that reaches households."
- "But Telefonica rivals have achieved a victory and that the network of copper will maintain its existing regulation. But it is a pyrrhic victory, because this infrastructure is doomed to disappear, and they know it."
- "More real is the obligation imposed on (...) Telefonica to open their rivals pipes - the conduits through which the (fiber runs)." This is the duct sharing part of the CMT plan. In other words, CMT seems to consider the duct network the only real dumb part of the physical layer.
- "(...) encourages investment from Telefonica, which will not have to share its new network with the rest, and force rivals to develop their own infrastructure. (...) But it is a gamble that can go well or not. In the worst scenario, operators alternatives not considered profitable investment and reduce its presence in Spain, or go entirely, which would strengthen Telefonica."
- "Have you ruled out functional separation of the network of Telefonica? (...) remedy of last resort."
- "The rules will not be ready before mid-2009."
UPDATE: see also Quinta's assessment.