Poland’s telecoms regulator Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej (UKE) has been forced to withdraw plans to regulate the market for Internet traffic exchange services, after the EC ruled competition could be stifled, rather than promoted, by the move.
A two-month EC investigation failed to find any competitive benefit from allowing UKE to regulate the market for web traffic exchange, the services ISPs use to connect their subscribers to the Internet. That’s because Polish ISPs can already choose to connect directly via incumbent Telekomunikacja Polska, or indirectly through other carriers.
In fact, competition is so healthy that the consumer price for Web access is falling, the Commission states.
“If the market itself is able to provide for fair competition, don’t disturb it with unnecessary regulations,” digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes says.
UKE had argued that ISPs were effectively forced to use TP’s IP traffic exchange because it controls the underlying network, but the EC states that domestic ISPs could connect to the global Web without using the incumbent network.
The EC goes on to point out that TP is unlikely to downgrade the level of service it offers rivals, in case they retaliate, which could result in some TP subscribers also suffering.