The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton T.D. today (Wednesday the 13th of February 2019) published the independent review of the operation of the MANs by enet, titled "Review of pricing and access arrangements for the MANs" and referred it to Comreg, the Commission for Communications Regulation.
The Review was commissioned by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in 2017 and was carried out by Analysys Mason consultants. The review examined pricing of MANs products and compliance by enet with the key principles underlying the MANs Concession Agreements, which are: to provide open access to the MANs on an equality of treatment, non-discriminatory and transparent basis to all service providers.
The review made a number of recommendations which are currently being implemented by enet including a reduction in the maximum annual price of dark fibre by over 50% to €2.60 per metre.
The review identified that enet was not in compliance with the agreed Code of Practice in relation to its approach to intercompany transfer pricing. The Minister has requested Comreg to:
- Establish whether enet complied with its obligation under the Code of Practice to offer managed services on the MAN's in the context of national end to end services at non-discriminatory prices such that its related company, enet Telecommunications Networks Ltd did not obtain a material unfair advantage.
- Confirm the revised intercompany transfer pricing arrangements in place are in compliance with the Code of Practice.
- Confirm that the Analysys Mason recommendations are being implemented.
- Based on the findings of its review, make recommendations to the Minister.
Furthermore, as recommended by Analysys Mason, it has been agreed that the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment will review the impact of the recommendations in improving the transparency of pricing, ensuring non-discrimination between ETNL and other Internet service providers (ISPs) and increasing separation from ETNL in Q1 2020.
The Minister said,
"This review raised a number of matters of concern. I have asked Comreg to review whether or not enet have complied with the agreed Code of Practice, which was put in place to ensure open access to the MANs on an equality of treatment, non-discriminatory and transparent basis to all service providers. I've also asked Comreg to confirm that the Analysys Mason recommendations are being implemented.
Notes to Editor
Find attached full MANS review at bottom of page :
The MANs Programme is comprised of 88 State-owned telecoms networks, which facilitate retail service providers in delivering high speed broadband services to their retail customers, without having to build their own networks.
Status of recommendations
|1||Enet should update its published price lists to explain that upfront and spread-out options are available for paying the connection fee for any product. enet should also publish the existence of any discounts that are available for connection fees.|
Implemented – enet to publish
Enet should update its assumptions used in preparing the desktop survey (DTS) estimate for the cost of the building 'drop connections', and prepare a report showing that there is an improvement in the reliability (on average) between the DTS and the corresponding field survey (FS).
|3||Enet continues to publish its maximum prices, not its actual prices (due to it facing competition for its services).||Implemented|
|4||Enet and DCCAE should discuss price changes for dark fibre, sub-duct and duct which will ensure that wholesale customers do not find it more expensive, on average, to buy passive products than comparable managed service products.||Implemented|
|5||Enet should make single strands of dark fibre available, at a price which is lower than the price of dark fibre pairs.||Implemented – enet to publish|
|6||Enet should document all of its discounting schemes and adhere to these to ensure that it offers the same type and level of discounts to all requesting operators.||Implemented|
|7||Enet should not sell end-to-end national managed service connections at a price lower than the price for the MAN component (the list price, plus any documented discount).||Implemented|
|8||Enet should create a transfer price – paid by ETNL to enet – for the MAN component of national end-to-end managed services based on its published MAN price lists, plus any documented discounts for MAN managed services.||Implemented|
|9||Enet should update a number of key elements within the legal framework of the separated accounts annually.||Implemented|
|10||Enet should permit operators to 'core drill' into a specified point of a MAN chamber, under supervision.||Implemented|
|11||Enet should prepare a report on the allocated occupancy of passive equipment (dark fibre, duct, sub-duct, co-location) by ISPs, including that used by ETNL for national circuits. The report should compare the current occupancy to the maximum levels set out in the Code of Practice.||Implemented|
|12||Enet should make a range of minor improvements to its external communications, including its relationship with service providers, and ensuring clarity of communication regarding services.||In progress|
|13||In addition to our previous recommendations (many of which will serve to reduce barriers to take-up on the MANs), we also recommend that DCCAE should work with enet to consider offering a discount for products on specific MANs where take-up is low.||In progress |