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UKE is closer and closer to regulating the cable sector. The regulator issued decisions regulating access to internal infrastructure owned by six operators.
Six operators with open infrastructure
On May 13, 2019 UKE issued decisions setting out the conditions for providing access to telecommunication infrastructure in the area of telecommunication cables in multi-family buildings. Netia, UPC Polska, Multimedia Polska, Vectra, INEA and TOYA received decisions imposing the obligation to provide access to infrastructure inside buildings for competitors. The regulator did not impose time on cable operators to implement the decision, so the issue is still open and will be discussed in the second instance proceedings. UKE started consultations on the draft decisions at the beginning of this year. The regulatory decisions were published by the regulator on 21 May.
Six regulated networks have infrastructure covering 6% to 20% of all buildings in their area of operation. Further networks in the market are smaller in scale.
Cable operators in opposition
Regulation of the cable sector has not been generally favored by cable networks. The operators are of the opinion that it is unjustified, because the wholesale market does not show much interest in access to cable infrastructure. In addition, the cable sector is already being replaced on a commercial basis, mainly where duplication of networks would be economically unjustified. However, part of the industry believes that mobile operators may be interested in accessing cable infrastructure if they intend to offer fixed internet, telephone or even pay-TV as a package, mainly T-Mobile and P4.
Regulation for the competitiveness of the cable sector
The decisions constitute the implementation of the strategic directions of UKE’s activities for the years 2017-2021. The activities of the regulator are aimed at promoting joint investments, supporting the construction and co-use of infrastructure and ensuring effective inter-operator cooperation. The regulation also aims at accelerating procedures blocking the development of effective competition on the market – shorter time of proceedings from operators’ applications for the construction of infrastructure.