‘A Gigabit society requires giga competition’, ECTA reminds German policy-makers

‘A Gigabit society requires giga competition’, ECTA reminds German policy-makers

 

Berlin/Brussels, 12 September 2018. On the occasion of the annual German Gigabit symposium, ecta supports leading German associations in sending a strong message to politicians and the administration to create the right conditions for advancing Gigabit connectivity and to highlight the need for a strong competitive underpinning.

At today’s Gigabit symposium, a number of leading associations representing the German telecommunications industry have called on Chancellor Merkel’s government and administration to recognise the urgent need for more high-performance digital infrastructures. Gigabit-enabled networks form the basis for enhanced competitiveness and new socio-economic opportunities.

‘To significantly improve the framework conditions for network deployment requires sustained support for alternative operators’, explains ecta Director General Luc Hindryckx, ‘to allow them to confidently embrace the Gigabit society. This includes full faith in keeping significant market power (SMP) under lock through regulation, where market circumstances so require.’

The German government has been one of the key proponents in recent EU legislative debates on a European Electronic Communications Code for the introduction of a regulatory exception to SMP regulation in order to facilitate co-investment between historically incumbent operators and their competitors. Largely untried thus far, genuine co-investment presents significant challenges to all operators without significant market power.

‘Investment can reinforce market power’, Hindryckx continues, ‘and that is precisely why competition needs safeguards. In fact, a Gigabit society requires giga competition to match. That is why the regulatory framework must not trade off competition for investment, but enable competitive investment, so that the largest possible benefits can be realised.’

ecta has therefore persistently called for the new European co-investment regime to incorporate elements protecting alternative operators, whether as participants or users of newly deployed infrastructures. While the political compromise struck in June integrates some of these elements, much of its effects will depend on how Member States transpose the new rules and how they manage the transition to the new regime.

‘The digital transformation therefore requires full attention to its competitive motor to move Germany to the forefront of the digital economy’, closes Hindryckx.

You can find the text of the Common messages to German policy-makers in German here.