The EC comments on UKE’s proposed wholesale regulation

UKE, the Polish regulator, has closed the consolidation procedure on its draft proposals for the regulation of broadcasting services and television wholesale markets in Poland.

Included in the final consolidation procedure document are comments from the European Commission (EC) which was notified back in November alongside Berec (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications) and other national regulators, of the draft proposal and called on to consult.

In particular, the new proposals would impose obligations on the Polish operator Emitel which holds significant market power on the national wholesale market for radio and TV broadcast transmission services in the country.

Though the EC approved the UKE’s draft proposition which includes addressing barriers such as market access, market structure that prevents competition and insufficient competition law, Roberto Viola, director general on behalf of the EC offered two comments.

Firstly it said that entry into “transmission markets” depends on the availability physical infrastructure such as masts, poles and antennas. It goes on to say that the “UKE did not consider it appropriate to define a separate relevant market for access to (passive) infrastructure broadcasting, such as towers and masts” and consequently “did not evaluate the conditions of competition in relation to the upstream market”. Additionally, it says that in order to compete with incumbent operator Emitel “alternative service providers must have access to certain elements of Emitel infrastructure (masts, towers and antennas), which - due to specific geographic location cannot be replicated by alternative operators.”

Its second comment is in relation to pricing. According to the EC, the UKE “does not specify any specific cost calculation that should be used when calculating prices, but leaves it to the incumbent operator and UKE to verify these price calculations.” This method “affects transparency” for alternative operators and other players in the market, “which make it difficult for their long-term investment plans”.

In related news, T-Mobile Poland recently announced its plan to enter into the fixed market. The company signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Orange Poland for access to its wholesale broadband network. The two are also said to be in discussion about access to fibre infrastructure for T-Mobile’s clients in multi-family houses.

Under the agreement T-Mobile are to pay Orange an upfront fee covering access to multi-family houses with B2C, a broadband monthly fee per each active customer and an installation fee per connection of each broadband line. Negotiations are due to close 30 June 2018. 

Also in the region, Netia, the Polish fixed network operator, appointed Marcin Chlopecki as its new director of wholesale in December. Chlopecki will report directly to Tomasz Kolodziejczyk, director of the B2B division. And enters the role after working for Orange Poland 1996, after which he also worked at CRM provider Enxoo.

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