As Turk.Internet, we made a detailed interview with Fabio Colasanti who is the General Director of Information Society and Media DG at European Commission. Mr Colasanti also made a keynote presentation titled “The effects of new EU regulations to telecom sector” during the conference. You can find here the first part of our interview both in video and text formats.
Turk Internet: Hello Mr Colasanti. We are here at Telekom Arena conference in Istanbul. I would like to ask you how you see Turkish telecom and media sector. What do you think about us?
Fabio Colasanti: My general impression is that first of all you have in Turkey a dynamic market. Clearly in a country as dynamic as Turkey, the demand is growing and the result is satisfactory.
In terms of the competitive situation, there is a big difference between the mobile sector, where there are a number of very important big developments such as present reforms funding it out, thanks also quite set the numbers of regulatory for their helps such as number portability and the strong reduction in interconnection rates, and developments in the fixed sector, where clearly there is a back lock that has to be corrected. Compared without a country, the situation of Turkey to fix the area is still very unsatisfactory. And I think this also has an effect on the development of the broadband market. If you have more competition in the fixed line sector, if you have the possibility to unbundle local loops to have bit stream products, you will see more competition.
Turk Internet: But in the fix area, as you know we have a lot of rules regulating local loops, unbundling, and other subjects you mentioned. What do you think about it? Are the applications unsatisfactory?
Fabio Colasanti: The point is, I also said this during the conference in the morning, the application of telecom rules is a very complex task. There is a need for the regulators to analyze the market. As they do this, they measure us. But then they have to see how the measures are applied. Because very often it is not enough to fix an appropriate price for the local loop if then there are some technical difficulties. So there is a lot of work that a regulator has to do to evaluate the situation. The bottom line at the moment is whatever has been done until now, has not produced very big results.
Turk Internet: Also there was a subject in Ministry’s speech that you are seeing the universal services are not suitable. What are you thinking about this and I also would like to ask you how you measure the application rules and tell that these are not enough in Turkey?
Fabio Colasanti: The intervention of the Minister has shown me that we have a different vision on what the universal service obligations are there for. In the present system under the European rules, that we probably will revise, the universal service obligations only concern the provision of electronic communication services to people who cannot afford them, who cannot be able to reach them. But it is really limited absolutely to the electronic communication services.
In other words, giving the telephone lines who don’t have it. Maybe one day, giving broadband to those who cannot have it is our obligation at this time. And according to the present rules, the provisions of other very important public policy rules, such as making sure that Internet and e-connections are provided or the children, the students have computers, these are something that cannot be covered under universal services obligation.
These are things that should be done, it is very worthy, and I encourage every government to do these if they have the resources. But it would not be appropriate to finance these through a tax on the telecom sector because this will have a very negative effect on the development of sector and on the development of the competition. So the conference this morning clearly showed that we have very different views on what this instrument namely the universal service obligations are.
Turk Internet: How do you see the Turkish regulatory frame? You know we have a regulatory body since 2000 and they have been making a lot of rules. How do you feel about them?
Fabio Colasanti: I can say it is more for them to see what they have to do. They should reach more and more other regulators in Europe through the co-operation that has been setup among the regulators to experience from them and to find out from them how certain problems have been solved. I know that they (Turkish regulators) have done it already. I remember a number of years ago they asked for our help in finding another regulator that could help them in number portability and now we see that it obviously led them to a success story.
But they should be doing that more and more. They should be behaving like a regulator which is conscious of its responsibility of its powers. Because regulators have a lot of powers and they have to extend them in a transparent way and they have to consult. But at the end of the day, it’s for them to decide. And it is for those who react to public consultation have a say on what they have done is enough or not. It is not for us to say.
Find the following part of this interview at by clicking here
Turkish translation of this part can be read at Fabio Colasanti : Evrensel Hizmetler Ykmllnn Ne Olduu Konusunda Farkl Bak Alarna Sahibiz – 1