The struggle to deregulate local telecommunications markets in Europe is starting to sound very familiar. Reports circulated last week that the European Union is considering establishing a group to regulate telecom on a pan-continental basis. This likely would involve forcing incumbents in each country to functionally separate their network and services units into wholesale and retail operations.
ILECs are, for the most part, bucking attempts at forced functional separation, or at least are asking for greater freedom to establish their own retail pricing policies. Telecom Italia says it will do just that. Observers fear that ILECs will delay expected broadband upgrade investments if they don't get what they want, which is where things should start to sound familiar.
- read this piece in The Wall Street Journal (Sub. req.)