Setting wholesale prices for one-off FTTH and HFC services in Belgium

Project executed on behalf of Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Project Objective

The project objective was to set the wholesale charges for one-off FTTH and HFC services in Belgium, on behalf of the Belgian regulator (BIPT).

Project Description

The following activities were carried out:

  • Definition of a methodology for the development of bottom-up cost models for one-off activities associated with fixed networks, taking into account the regulatory context of FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) and HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coaxial) in Belgium.
  • Development of two bottom-up models for fixed networks, allowing the calculation of the cost of one-off services for the determination of wholesale tariffs. More specifically, individual scenarios were integrated into the models for the assessment of Belgian operators with SMP: Proximus for FTTH networks and Telenet and Voo for HFC networks.
  • The development included:
    • Review of the individual and specific activities necessary for the provision of the full list of one-time services to be evaluated, including but not limited to: activation, household installation, deactivation, household deinstallation, change service/speed, appointment change/cancellation, useless end-user visit, wrong repair request, technical assistance, etc.
    • For activities that were outsourced by the Belgian operators to subcontractors, the review included the assessment of the contracts signed and the fees charged for the different activities, based on agreements reached between the operator and the subcontractors.
    • In the case of activities carried out directly by the Belgian operator (not outsourced), the project included the validation of the dedicated times, the frequency of realization, and the unit cost per hour of the staff responsible for the activity, which constituted the main inputs needed for the calculation of the cost of each activity.
  • The project had two phases of public consultation with the industry, whose outcomes were taken into consideration for the refinement of the methodology and the models.
  • Training in the development and use of the models was also a fundamental and continuous component throughout the project lifecycle. By means of workshops and training sessions, Axon worked with the client team members to ensure they gained a thorough understanding of the methodologies and mechanisms employed in the models.

At the final stage, Axon also provided support to the BIPT in its decision process for the setting of wholesale prices, which strongly relied on the outcomes of the bottom-up models developed previously.

Key Takeaways

The outcomes of the project were employed to define the regulatory framework for wholesale one-time rates for HFC and FTTH services in Belgium. The decision on the HFC is already publicly available here and the public consultation about those related to FTTH is here.