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[FYI] 64 kBit Internet Standleitung: EURO 80,-- / Monat?


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Leased lines: Commission acts to bring down cost of communications in 

 DN: IP/99/873     Date: 1999-11-24

     TXT: FR EN
     PDF: FR EN
     Word Processed: FR EN


Brussels, 24 November 1999 

Leased lines: Commission acts to bring down cost of communications in 

The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on the pricing 
of short-distance leased lines. The Recommendation sets price 
ceilings for short distance leased lines that incumbent 
telecommunication operators charge. Leased lines are short distance 
communications links that incumbent telecommunications companies rent 
to other network operators. These short distance circuits constitute 
essential building blocks for the internal communications networks of 
European businesses. Leased lines are increasingly used also by small 
and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to have a permanent high speed 
access to the Internet. The sector of leased lines, data networks and 
business communications is becoming increasingly important in 
particular with the emergence of e-commerce, and already represents 
about 25% of the total telecommunications market in some Member 
States. The Recommendation also encourages unbundling of the local 
loop and other measures to stimulate competition in the local access 

"The high price of leased lines in Europe has been detrimental to the 
competitiveness of European companies and has hampered the spread of 
the Internet in Europe", said Mr. Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner 
responsible for Enterprise Policy and the Information Society. "This 
recommendation will be of benefit to all Internet users, and in 
particular to SMEs."  

Leased lines can carry high volumes of voice and data and multimedia 
traffic. In particular Internet Service Providers rely extensively on 
the availability of leased lines to connect to the world-wide 
Internet backbone.  

Competition in the leased lines market has been slow to develop, and 
new investment in competing communications infrastructure is 
concentrated in the profitable high capacity routes between big 
cities. Incumbent telecommunications operators remain the dominant 
suppliers for all types of leased lines, and especially for short 
distance local leased lines, where they face little competition. 
Consequently, prices remain high in most Member States.  

The recommended price ceilings are based on the prices in the three 
lowest cost Member States in the EU (see annex). This approach 
follows a previous Commission Recommendation, that addressed the 
price of interconnection to switched networks, and which has been 
instrumental in making interconnection charges in Europe to converge 
and be among the most competitive in the world.  

The Recommendation on leased lines interconnection sets the following 
price ceilings for the monthly rental of a leased transmission 
circuit, of length 5 km, provided by an incumbent telecommunications 
operator to another operator so that can competitively link a user 
into its backbone network. These recommended price ceilings provide 
guidance to the National Regulatory Authorities to assess whether the 
prices are cost-oriented as required by Community legislation.  

     64 Kilobit/s capacity circuit:   80 Euro/month (excl VAT) 

     2 Megabit/s capacity circuit:   350 Euro/month (excl VAT) 

     34 Megabit/s capacity circuit:  2600 Euro/month (excl VAT) 

These price ceilings are comparable to the prices that are found in 
other competitive markets, like the USA. 


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