Greece’s1 National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) is starting consultations on the future of the sector, ie the day after copper is dropped from networks, as the country struggles with low-speed internet (the lowest in Europe, according to European Commission data) and the cost of telecommunications connections.
The copper network, which belongs to OTE and covers the so-called "last mile", from the cabin to the house, is used by the organization's competitors to sell connections to Greek consumers.
But what will happen now that OTE is investing in a fiber optic home network (FibertotheHome – FTTH) and therefore does not need the copper network? Its competitors do not show the same willingness for change and therefore for a long time they still want the copper network of OTE to remain in place, to continue reaching households and businesses without the additional costs caused by the use of a fiber optic network.
However, OTE does not want such a thing as it adds significant costs. Given limited investments from OTE competitors in fiber optic networks, tough negotiations are expected for the terms under which the old copper network will be gradually deactivated.
EETT steps in
EETT is trying to strike the right balance through public consultation that begins today and will last until May 21. The purpose is to determine the appropriate terms and conditions for an effective transition from the traditional infrastructure of OTE, "in order to cover, among other things, obligations of timely notification, transparency and availability of alternative access products for alternative providers, at least of comparable quality and not distortions / restrictions of competition in the relevant markets ".
EETT considers that five parameters should be taken into account regarding the deactivation of the copper network in an area that OTE has completely covered with fiber optics right up to the house. The number of benefits affected by the outage will be calculated, ie the connections of the alternative providers based on the copper network. One criterion will be the maximum number of subscribers in an Urban Center (CC) with co-location which are affected by the abolition of the copper network (partially or in total) per year. The second will be the percentage of subscribers who have switched to the new generation network that is going to replace the copper network.
The third criterion will be the time between informing EETT and the providers about the impending cessation of services, until the completion of the cessation process. Fourth, the time between informing EETT and the providers about the impending cessation of services until the cessation of service of new requests for the provision of wholesale services based on the copper network. And the fifth is the time between the notification of EETT and the providers for the impending cessation of services until the beginning of the forced migration process.
For example, OTE needs to notify EETT and providers 36 months in advance of the abolition of the copper network where there are more than 5,000 active connections or in 24 months if the active connections are less than 5,000. If there is no alternative provider in the urban center, then the notification must be made six months before the deactivation of the copper network.