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Unbundled access to the local loop

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The Regulation makes it compulsory, from 31 December 2000, for incumbent operators to meet reasonable requests for unbundled access to the local loop.
Allowing new entrants to access the local loop will lead to increased competition on the local network and reduce the cost of using the Internet. Unbundled access to the local loop is a prerequisite for developing high-speed access to the Internet.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 2887/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on unbundled access to the local loop.

SUMMARY

Increased competition on the local network

The Regulation addresses the problem of the lack of competition on the local network where incumbent operators continue to dominate the market for voice telephony services and high-speed Internet access

Allowing new entrants access to the local loop * will lead to increased competition and stimulate technological innovation on the local access market. This will encourage the provision of a large range of competitive electronic communications services.

The provision of unbundled access

The Regulation introduces compulsory unbundling of and shared access to the local copper loop controlled by the incumbent operators.

It does not concern new optical fibre loops, for which the market is already much more competitive.

The obligation to provide unbundled access to local copper-wire loops only concerns notified operators * designated by their national regulatory authorities (NRAs) as having significant market power. Pricing must be transparent, non-discriminatory and fair. It must be proportionate to costs, while ensuring a return which ensures the development of the existing infrastructure.

The Annex to the Regulation sets out a minimum list of items to be included in a reference offer for unbundled access to the local loop, to be published by notified operators.

Context

Unbundled access to the local loop has been identified as an essential element of the eEurope Action Plan. It is a prerequisite for allowing Europe to match its global competitors on Internet use. Introducing competition on local copper networks will allow high-speed, fixed-price access to the Internet to spread rapidly throughout Europe.

Key terms used in the act
  • local loop: the physical circuit connecting the subscriber's premises to the main distribution frame or equivalent local facility;
  • notified operator: operators of fixed public telephone networks that have been designated by their national regulatory authority as having significant market power in the provision of fixed public telephone networks

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2887/2000 [adoption: codecision COD/2000/0185]02.01.2001-Official Journal L 336 of 30.12.2000

RELATED ACTS

Communication of 8 December 1999 on a Commission Initiative for the Special European Council of Lisbon, 23 and 24 March 2000: "eEurope - An Information Society For All" [COM(1999) 687 final - not published in the Official Journal].
This communication launches the Commission's eEurope initiative, an ambitious programme aimed at achieving the broadest possible access to information technology. Unbundled access to the local loop is a short-term priority under the eEurope Action Plan.

Last updated: 19.09.2005
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