Functional separation in Swedish broadband market: Next step of improving competition
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2010
Technological development together with liberalization policy has led to competition in the telecommunications market. Broadband has been recognized as a driving force in the social and economic development of nations, and many countries have introduced policies and/or regulatory frameworks to improve competition in broadband markets. An evolution can be seen from the 1980s until the present day through open access to local loop unbundling to several degrees of separation including functional separation. There are several countries implementing functional separation such as the UK, Italy, Sweden and, recently the EU. It has been suggested that functional separation can be an effective policy for increasing competition in broadband markets under certain circumstances. Sweden has implemented functional separation by amending the Swedish Telecommunications Act in 2008 to include mandatory functional separation as one of the powers of the PTS, the Swedish telecommunications regulator. Although TeliaSonera, the incumbent fixed line operator decided to voluntarily separate part of their business, the amendments to the law were debated with arguments similar to the debates in the EU following the new regulatory framework implemented in 2009. Against this background, this paper provides an overview of the development of functional separation in the EU and European countries such as Sweden and the UK. The paper also provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of the implementation of functional separation. The evolution of functional separation in Sweden is explained and ends with a discussion of the implementation of functional separation in the Swedish broadband market. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.