To this effect, ECTA is tracking the national regulators in Europe with the scope to measure their effectiveness in applying regulation and establishing competition.
ECTA assigns scores according their successes We talked in Istanbul with Innocenzo Genna, expert in European telecoms regulation and Chairman of ECTA.
Turk-internet.com : You are studying regulatory bodies and making a scorecard every year. What is that and do you think about the Turkish telecom sector?
Innocenzo : ECTA study is made once a year since 2002. This year’s is the 7th. We analyse regulation.
In the 2008 Scorecards your country’s low rank is mainly due to the fact that the liberalization process started only recently, therefore may issues are still pending. This is why you should not be offended by the Scorecards but, to the opposite, you should carefully analyse them, sector by sector, in order to identify the main regulatory issues and the best way to intervene. If Turkey will do this well, then you may expect the Turkish telecom market to deliver better results and, accordingly, also the rank in the Scorecards will rise dramatically.
What I understand from Turkey is that basic legislation quite in line with EU framework, which means that your legislator did right things, however something still needs to be improved, especially with regard to the independence and the powers of the regulator.
Secondary legislation is still weak, and this mainly due to the weakness of the regulator. Thus, basic regulatory instruments, like unbundling and bitstream, are still unavailable or not working. As a consequence, in Turkey market conditions are not attracting many investors, because they feel that there is not the right environement to risk their money.
This is really a pity, because Turkey is a big, challenging and growing market, you should expect lots of investors competing, bringing money, creating employements and making the whole Turkish economy more wealthy. The government should take care of that: you will enjoy more benefits from competition rather than from monopolies.
The regulator should be empowered to carry on this job. Effective powers are necessary in order to implement and make effective regulation, since uneffective and “just on paper” rules do not deliver benefits. Otherwise, nothing will change.
To make an exemple, sanctions shall be strong and effective in order to be credible vis–vis dominant operators.
The Scorecards are mainly showing this. Investments raise only if regulation is effective and not only over the papers. Competition would convince companies, especially from abroad, to invest and beeing innovative. This will force the incumbent to react and become more effective and competitive.
Turk-internet.com : What is happening in Europe telecom sector, nowadays?
Innocenzo : The Internet market started with the dial up story, which was succesful and competitive. Then ADSL arrived, a technology which delivered with much more speed and services. The incumbents used this technological change (from dial-up to ADSL) to re-monopolise the market, since ADSL was not regulated at the beginning. It took 4-5 years to convince regulators that ADSL regulation was necessary to ensure competition and investment in the Internet ADSL market.
When competition emerged, than we saw VOIP, Triple play and so on. Now that the sector is becoming competitive, the incumbents are swtiching to NGN to repeat the same story: new technology > no regulation > remonopolisation.
2nd part of this interview can be read by clicking here
Turkish translation of this interview can be read by clicking here