TEF Scores FTTH Win

1:05 PM -- Spanish telecom regulator CMT reported this week on next-generation access in the country and proposed some guidelines for further consultation. The overall message seems pretty clear: Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) is going to have it easy on the regulatory front if it wants to build out fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).

The regulator's desire for 100 Mbit/s access is so strong, it seems, that it is prepared to forgo regulation of new FTTH access networks. A key proposal is that new fiber access networks would not be regulated if they reach customer premises.

Ovum Ltd. 's principal analyst Stefano Nicoletti points out that broadband penetration in Spain is 20 percent and below the European average, while Telefonica has a 70 percent market share of DSL connections in the country.

Nicoletti writes in a research note today: "CMT stresses that they are creating a framework that favors investment in fiber to secure up to 100 Mbit/s. We believe a more important objective should be for Spain to make sure that the rest of the 80 percent of the country accesses broadband as soon as possible rather than securing HDTV and fiber pipes to an elite."

"As far as we are aware, no other European incumbent has got such a result in the bag yet," he adds.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

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