In a statement, it says that the new measure, which seeks a balance between ensuring competition and promoting competition in next generation access (NGA) networks, establishes geographically differentiated obligation based on existing competition.
As such, it updates the 2016 regulation, since when the number of FTTH lines has risen from 23% of the market (2015) to about 75% of total broadband connections. These figures, say CNMC, show that Spain is now a leading European country both in coverage and in penetration of FTTH connections. As part of the new regulation, CNMC has expanded the competitive zone to 696 municipalities, compared with 66 in 2016. The remaining municipalities (7,453) will form part of the non-competitive zone.
According to CNMC, the competitive zone is characterized by high competition in infrastructure based on NGA networks. In each of these 696 municipalities, Telefónica’s share of the retail broadband market is less than 50% and there are at least three (NGA) networks with a minimum coverage of 20%.
In this competitive zone, the CNMC requires Telefónica to maintain its obligations with respect to access to civil works infrastructure (ducts and poles), as well as its obligations concerning the copper copper local loop unbundling. Nevertheless, CNMC does not required Telefónica to provide wholesale access to its fibre network.
CNMC says that its decision entails significant deregulation. Hence, the competitive zone will increase from 66 municipalities (35% of the Spanish population) to 696 municipalities (70% of the population). At the end of 2020, more than 75% of the fibre accesses installed by Telefónica were located in those 696 municipalities, whereas with the new regulation Telefónica will be required to allow access only to its civil engineering infrastructure.
In the rest of the country (7,453 municipalities) — the non-competitive zone — the CNMC has set forth, in addition to the above-mentioned services, the obligation on Telefónica to provide wholesale services for virtual unbundled access to optical fibre (local NEBA) and fibre bitstream (NEBA fibere broadband).
CNMC concludes by saying that it will closely monitor the competitive situation in the market and assess whether it is necessary to adopt, within three years time, a new measure reviewing the geographic areas of the market or even, if the competitive situation in the market so justifies, to move to a framework in which regulated access to Telefónica’s civil engineering infrastructure is exclusively imposed and the obligations regarding NEBA local and NEBA fibre services throughout the territory are withdrawn.
It adds that The measure has the approval of the European Commission, which supervises the market analyses and regulatory obligations of which regulators must give notification under Community regulations. In its analysis, the European Commission made just one comment, of a technical nature, encouraging the CNMC to define a separate market for access to civil infrastructure in the framework of upcoming reviews.