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Re: from Dave Farber's list: Ireland to regulate peering

  • From: Roland Perry
  • Date: Sun Jun 15 09:55:08 2003


In message <20030615123423.ECA287B4D@berkshire.research.att.com>, Steve Bellovin <smb@research.att.com> writes

In brief: New rules being put in place by the Irish telecoms regulator
will regulate IP peering between ISPs as if it were a voice interconnect.
I'd love to hear from any other IPers who know if this is being proposed
anywhere else in Europe. As far as I know, this is unprecedented.
This regime has probably been the case throughout Europe for ISPs that were locally licenced telcos, for four years [under the Interconnect Directive]. Not that many countries actually believed it or did anything. But there are now specific new Directives about this.

The Irish telecoms regulator (ComReg) has announced a new set of licensing
rules for telcos. The bad part is that the rules have been greatly
expanded to include regulation of "all electronic communications
networks", including (apparently) ISP networks and VPN operators.
Indeed, this is just one instance of implementation of the new European Telecoms Directives across Europe, due this July. To see a FAQ on the UK's version (interconnection in section 5):

http://www.oftel.gov.uk/publications/eu_directives/2003/ispfaq0303.htm

The cherry on the cake is that ISPs can be designated as having
"Significant Market Power" (this used to be defined as having 25% of a
market, but the criteria are now more nebulous).
In practice, regulators will only intervene at all, if one of the ISPs has SMP. This is now almost impossible to achieve (tests of "dominance" apply) especially with the diversity of transit providers. An SMP ISP would have to dominate the *entire* market for wholesale transit in a country.
--
Roland Perry, Director of Public Policy, LINX.




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