Edited by Anastassios Gentzoglanis and Anders Henten
Chapter 9: International Regulatory Comparisons: The Evolution of IP-based Fiber
Scott Marcus and Dieter Elixmann INTRODUCTION 9.1 Technological and market forces are driving network operators and electronic communication service providers throughout the world to migrate their networks to Next Generation Networks (NGNs) based on the Internet Protocol (IP).1 NGN access to the fixed network is in the process of being enhanced over time in many countries to provide higher speed using fiber-based technology. At an abstract level, one might imagine that a change in underlying technology would have little impact on regulation;2 however, the evolution of the access network to IP-based fiber implies substantial challenges for regulators. Various regulators in various countries are finding somewhat different solutions to these challenges. Two broad families of technical approaches exist. One approach is known as fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the building (FTTB). The other is very high speed DSL (VDSL), which is associated with fiber to the curb/cabinet (FTTC) (because fiber is built out to the street cabinet but not all the way to the individual home or building). Whether the migration is to FTTC/VDSL or to FTTB/FTTH, traditional solutions to incumbent market power typically become difficult to apply. For FTTC/VDSL, the natural point of interconnection (PoI) for purposes of network access moves from the main distribution frame (MDF) to the far more numerous street cabinets; however, access to street cabinets is potentially difficult and costly, calling into question the practicality of local loop unbundling (LLU) as a competitive remedy. For FTTB/FTTH deployments to multiple dwelling units,...
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