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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More from ETNO

No-one has mentioned net neutrality yet - which doesn't surprise me and I'm not going to be the first person to fart in church. The high-level regulators' panel was amazing - Colasanti would not discuss the package in his opening remarks, Matthias Kurth will chair ERG next year even though no-one else in the ERG agrees with his 'American' (i.e. monopoly) approach to telecoms, which flies in the face of the Commission. It was a perfect example of people talking past each other, showing that next year will be a desperate one for European policy - especially as the Commission and DGs will be rudderless in part as a new Commission is nominated.

This however is an opportunity - if only through crisis. The regulators are going to favour - or at least turn a blind eye to - incumbents in the NGA settlement, as frankly they're the only game in town willing to invest in fibre in the short term. As a result, we're going to be in the US in competitive terms, a duopoly, except worse. Worse for two reasons. 1. We have very little cable in most places. 2. The LLU competition in telecoms which disguised the lack of alternative infrastructure, will be much more limited in NGAs. The emperor's nudity will be exposed.

UPDATE: 4.46pm and final panel chair Phillipe de Fraigne mentioned "net neutrality". Only on a list of issues with no explanation. Back to sleep...

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