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Fibre, Regulation & Competition

Getting Regulation Right Blog Aspect
Dr Archana Gulati
Published May 24, 2014
Updated Sep 03, 2023
It may be noted that a common strain running throughout my blog is my concern with huge, national level roll out of incumbent centric state-sponsored fibre networks. In the enthusiasm for broadband and its inclusion as a key component of growth or stimulus plans, developed nations too seem to have relaxed their strict concern for competition or at least have had to modify competition/telecom regulation to accommodate these projects (NBN). Developing nations like India that have adopted a “me too” approach are perhaps even worse off for the lack of adequate regulation and almost complete lack of competition assessment at a policy and project level. (BBNL)
I have often warned that there would be problems ahead. Please see my posts under national broadband plans, broadband networks and competition and have suggested an alternative approach based on tendering and infrastructure sharing.
It is of interest that the fears surrounding fibre backhaul as a key, potentially bottleneck input are being articulated even in Europe with much more sophisticated regulation in place. These have led to plea for (re)regulation of access to especially backhaul owned by former fixed line incumbents.Please see the report on Vodafone lobbying for regulated fibre access,
Do we want to go back to the era of complicated (and often less than perfect) fixed line type of regulation or can we learn from the past?