A government bill announced on Tuesday could give the Swedish regulator extra powers to ensure the country’s broadband market is as open as possible. The legislation is aimed at making certain that former monopoly provider TeliaSonera does not discriminate in providing access to its networks. The telco took a pre-emptive step last autumn – not long after draft legislation was proposed – of creating a separate company for its copper and fibre networks with a requirement that the unit sell network access on equal terms to all wholesale companies. The recent bill would, however, allow the National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) to request that TeliaSonera provides bitstream access via a subsidiary wholly separate from the one that operates the network. A PTS official said that without bitstream access it was not commercially viable for other operators to supply services in areas with low population densities, which account for about three million of Sweden’s nine million population.
Bitstream access is a topic at the forefront of several western European markets. Recently Germany’s Deutsche Telekom published proposed prices in response to a regulatory demand made last year, while Swiss regulator ComCom is currently deliberating on how best to implement the service.