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Portuguese regulator's proposals in the fixed termination market suspended

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The European Commission has suspended a proposal from the Portuguese telecoms regulator (ANACOM) concerning regulatory remedies for the fixed termination market as it has serious concerns on the scope of the proposed access obligation.

The Commission said that it is particularly worried that the lack of a comprehensive access obligation, including for instance interconnection through an IP network -- which is standard in most other Member States -- would not allow for a swift resolution of access problems and could leave consumers unable to make calls to other networks. ANACOM's proposal could also make it possible for fixed operators to refuse or delay access to a part of their networks in an attempt to eliminate their direct competitors from the market.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, said: "Consumers must be able to make the calls they wish. For this reason, where we have a monopoly situation like in fixed termination markets, we need to guarantee access to the network for all operators and all consumers."

Under EU telecom rules, the access obligation requires an operator to interconnect its respective network with that of any other operator. ANACOM proposes to impose this obligation for traditional ways of interconnection but not for IP interconnection.

The Portuguese regulator now has three months to work with the European Commission and the Body of European telecoms regulators (BEREC) to find a solution to this case. In the meantime, implementation of the proposal is suspended.

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Tags: european commission  anacom  Portugal