Europe has seen a protracted debate about the policy foundations for investment and competition during the transition from copper to fibre networks. This is best understood in the context of the existing approach which is focussed on entrant based competition via cost oriented access to copper.
Whilst the rhetoric of the “ladder of investment” may have sustained a belief amongst regulators that they could have their cake and eat it, investors did not in general concur. It has therefore become clear that the principles and practice of regulation conceived for a world in which copper access infrastructure already exists are not fit for purpose if one wishes to see a transition to fibre.
This paper proposes a new regulatory paradigm in Europe.