By issuing the landmark decision M 3/09 on September 6, 2010, the Austrian Telekom-Control Commission (TKK) redefined the general framework for expanding next generation broadband networks (next generation access – NGA).
One major item of the framework was the requirement placed on A1 Telekom Austria AG to offer “virtual unbundling”, a novel and innovative interim product, in areas where such NGA networks (utilising FTTC or FTTB technologies) are being introduced. In a manner comparable to current unbundled services, virtual unbundling must provide alternative operators with the highest possible level of flexibility in designing products they offer to end customers. This would ultimately result in compliance with the main requirement for competition to be maintained and ensured with lasting effect in the “expansion areas”.
A1 Telekom Austria AG published a comprehensive contract offer for the “virtual unbundling” service on 7 December 2010, within the stipulated period. Following an initial review of the offer at the TKK meeting on 20 December 2010, the TKK has preliminarily ruled that neither the technical details nor the prices specified in the offer comply with the requirements placed on A1 Telekom Austria AG.
TKK has called on A1 Telekom Austria AG to publish by mid-January 2011 a standard contract offer for “virtual unbundling” that complies with the regulatory requirements. TKK will afterwards discuss further action, possibly to include the initiation of a legal supervision procedure, as specified in § 91 of the Austrian Telecommunications Act 2003 (TKG 2003), against A1 Telekom Austria AG.