RTR stimulates competition for infrastructure: cross-industry discussion on financing models for expanding the broadband network

Press release dated 28 May 2009

On 26 May 2009, Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH (RTR) organized, within the scope of its focus of activities “infrastructure and financing”, a meeting on “Financing Expansion of Broadband Access Networks”. “This meeting was to create awareness of telecommunication operators and further potential infrastructure providers, for example those engaging in the areas energy, railways, roads or municipalities, of joint use of infrastructure facilities and of possibilities for financing them”, Dr. Georg Serentschy, managing director of RTR's telecommunications division, describes the objective of the meeting.

One focus of the meeting was aimed at “public subsidies and participations”. The presentations covered subject matters ranging from an overview given by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology on prerequisites of possible public subsidies for establishing and expanding broadband networks, a draft of the European Commission for a consulting concept for new subsidy guidelines specially aimed at the broadband area and an analysis of criteria and prerequisites for subsidies (to prevent distorted competition, establish neutral positions among technologies and open access, and distinguish according to the extent of infrastructure already existing – “white/grey/black spots”). 

The focus of the agenda item “financing alternatives for setting up broadband networks” covered public private partnership schemes and issues of how to cover or distribute among stakeholders the considerable risks of setting up such networks. Also addressed were the terms and conditions for equity and loan capital finance which are for broadband networks fundamentally different from those for existing telecommunications infrastructure. Further topics covered the suitability of geographical information systems as tools for financial appraisal of network expansion scenarios and showed an international comparison of financing alternatives and business schemes for investment in broadband networks with the participation of public entities.

Having provided for quite some time stimuli through cross-industry discussions and workshops covering broadband infrastructure, we assume having successfully identified promising forms of cooperation and financing in order to increase the potential of investors in new telecommunications infrastructures and boost competition in infrastructure”, concludes Serentschy.

The papers presented in the meeting are available for download on the RTR website: