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How to price the unbundled local loop in the transition from copper to fiber access networks?

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Author Info

  • Neumann, Karl-Heinz
  • Vogelsang, Ingo

Abstract

In many countries worldwide access networks are in the transition from copper to fiber access. During the transition phase copper and fiber networks are operated in parallel. All regulators facing this situation of technological change have to decide how to price unbundled access to the copper loop in this transition phase. Should they keep the usual forward looking long-run incremental cost standard charge, or should they move to some different approach? The authors propose to price copper access based on the modern equivalent asset (MEA) of fiber access. Since fiber access is superior to copper access, the cost of fiber access (as a basis for pricing copper access) should, however, be corrected by the performance delta between copper and fiber access. Instead of using quality of service (QoS) differences, the authors determine the performance delta based on the market valuation of services provided over the copper and fiber access represented by the end-user prices of services and corrected by cost differences downstream of the access provision. Under this approach an access seeker becomes indifferent (on the margin) between using the copper or the fiber access network and wholesale pricing (or regulation) becomes competitively neutral towards technology choice between copper and fiber access and does not distort the platform competition towards cable. To test its practicability numerical simulations of the approach are performed by means of a quantitative competition model. The model analysis suggests that the approach leads to unique and robust results. Its main conclusion is that the method tends to be conservative relative to the theoretical case of pure vertical product differentiation, meaning that the measured performance delta underestimates the theoretical performance delta. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Telecommunications Society (ITS) in its series 24th European Regional ITS Conference, Florence 2013 with number 88516.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse13:88516

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Web page: http://www.itseurope.org/

Related research

Keywords: Copper access; Fiber to the home (FTTH); Modern equivalent asset; Long-run incremental costs (LRIC); Performance delta;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. M. Bourreau & C. Cambini & P. Dogan, . "Access Pricing, Competition, and Incentives to Migrate From "Old" to "New" Technology," Working Paper 36919, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  2. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Vogelsang, Ingo, 2011. "The need for a new approach to regulating fixed networks," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 102-114, March.
  3. Steffen HOERNIG & Stephan JAY & Werner NEU & Karl-Heinz NEUMANN & Thomas PLÜCKEBAUM & Ingo VOGELSANG, 2012. "Wholesale Pricing, NGA Take-Up and Competition," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(86), pages 153-174, 2nd quart.
  4. Mandy David M. & Sharkey William W., 2003. "Dynamic Pricing and Investment from Static Proxy Models," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 1-37, December.
  5. von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1991. "Monopolistic Competition on the Pyramid," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 355-68, June.
  6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  7. Evans, Lewis T. & Guthrie, Graeme A., 2005. "Risk, price regulation, and irreversible investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 109-128, February.
  8. Degraba, Patrick, 2003. "A Bottleneck Input Supplier's Opportunity Cost of Competing Downstream," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 287-97, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Ingo Vogelsang, 2014. "Will the U.S. and EU Telecommunications Policies Converge? A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 4843, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Ingo Vogelsang, 2013. "The Endgame of Telecommunications Policy? A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 4545, CESifo Group Munich.

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