Telia to offer bitstream after decision by Administrative Court of Appeal in Sweden

The Administrative Court of Appeal in Sweden announced today in a split decision that it will not grant TeliaSonera review dispensation in a case regarding bitstream access in connection with an appeal made by TeliaSonera in May for the re-examination of a decision by the County Administrative Court, in which TeliaSonera requested the Administrative Court of Appeal to change a decision made by the PTS, the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency, on bitstream access. According to TeliaSonera, the PTS’s decision would have meant that the investments that TeliaSonera has made for its customers in a competitive market could be used by competing operators. After today’s ruling by the Administrative Court of Appeal, TeliaSonera will develop a wholesale offering for bitstream access, in accordance with the requirements of the PTS, at the end of July.

Swedish households and companies can obtain broadband in several different ways. The technology that is used the most to offer broadband service is the copper cable network, which is already open, and in which other operators have purchased more than 4,000 unbundled copper pairs for broadband by means of LLUB, or Local Loop Unbundling. In addition, broadband is offered through cable television networks, newly built fibre optic networks and radio networks in Sweden. Today, a large number of operators are competing for Swedish customers with a number of different offerings based on many different technical solutions. Thus, in TeliaSonera’s opinion, it is unreasonable for a company to be forced to invest in yet another regulated product in the copper network. Bitstream is a refinement of LLUB, which is already offered on the market today.

TeliaSonera has raised objections to the PTS’s decision and is supported by independent expertise in competition law on several points. The County Administrative Court did not consider TeliaSonera’s objections and only stated that it generally agreed with the assessment made by the PTS. Against this background, TeliaSonera considered it relevant to appeal against the bitstream ruling made by the County Administrative Court to the Administrative Court of Appeal. TeliaSonera has still not taken a definite position on how it will proceed with the question concerning appeal of the decision by the Administrative Court of Appeal.

According to TeliaSonera, the decision made by the Administrative Court of Appeal underscores that it is necessary for politicians to provide guidance now so the telecom industry can understand the criteria applicable for the development of special regulations.

For further information journalists can contact:
TeliaSonera AB, +46-(0)8-713 58 30

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