Competition is driver for investment – BEREC Chair Eschweiler at the B-day Going Giga

15 November 2016

“Promoting investment is not only one of the framework objectives, but also one of BEREC’s strategic pillars” - emphasized BEREC Chair Wilhelm Eschweiler at the B-day Going Giga, organized by DG CONNECT (EC) on 15 November 2016 in Brussels.
Soon after the publication of the European strategy for a Gigabit society and the legislative proposals for the telecoms review, this was one of the first major opportunities to discuss them at European level.

During his speech at the panel discussion dedicated to analyse how pro-investment is the EC proposal, the BEREC Chair reiterated that evidence shows that in fact competition is the best driver for investment: market entrants have been challenging incumbent operators by rolling out their own infrastructure based on access regulation following the ladder of investment concept. So only a competitive environment can incentivize investment activities by the market players. Wilhelm Eschweiler underlined the importance to avoid any risk of eroding and undermining the principles of the SMP regime in outbalancing the current clear “rule and exception” relationship. Regarding any proposed preferential regulatory treatment of instruments such as “commercial agreements” and “co-investment” for the sake of fostering connectivity, the BEREC Chair urged for a rather cautious approach carefully weighting the pros and cons.

BEREC is currently assessing the proposals by the EC in detail, but tentatively has some doubts on a number of proposed measures in its current form.  He also stressed, that there is a need to maintain the flexibility for NRA’s to respond to national circumstances with flexible regulatory toolbox to enable “tailor-made” solutions to achieve the connectivity aim.

Watch video from the conference here.