European Commission lays down the law for landline pricing

The European Commission has recommended that price ceilings should be imposed on leased lines across the EU.

It has found that the market for electronic communication services is ‘distorted by substantial variations in leased line prices which are impossible to explain in terms of costs’.

In one instance the price of a 2Mbps line 5km long was seven times higher in the most expensive country than in the cheapest.

Price ceilings will be set according to the bandwidth and length of the line; details can be found in the Recommendation on the provision of leased lines in the European Union (Part 2 – Pricing aspects of wholesale leased lines part circuits) PDF.

‘Leased lines are the fundamental building blocks for the development of a world class high-speed communications infrastructure in Europe,’ said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. ‘Competitive pricing of leased lines will expand the range and cut the costs of electronic communications services that are made available to business users and end users across the EU, and in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises, which have much to gain from lower prices for business services offered by operators making use of these inputs.’

These recommendations follow January’s ruling on leased line delivery periods, which set a maximum number of days in which an ordered line must be installed.

Leased lines provide symmetric, dedicated connections to the Internet and other telecoms networks with speeds up to 155Mbps.

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