WIK analyzed the role of regional operators for broadband rollout In a study for the broadband office of the federal state Hessen. The study combines economic, business and regulatory aspects.
These days alternative operators, which are mainly regional operators, account for 80% of total FTTB/H homes passed in Germany. Furthermore, they contribute to FTTC roll-out in underserved areas.
The economics perspective shows that municipal regional operators underlie a differing investment calculus than private operators. Therefore it is likely that profitability calculations of both kinds of operators will come up with different results.
From a regulatory perspective, certainty on access conditions is key to regional operators. Specifically in regards to access to incumbents infrastructure, availability of wholesale products and corresponding access fees.
The business perspective allows to identify different business models among regional operators. These range from being a pure network provider or owner to fully integrated business models. Case studies prove that regional presence, proximity and inclusion of decision makers and local multipliers are important factors for profitable network buildout projects.
The study shows that regional operators are strongly contributing to achieve the goal to move Germany towards a Gigabit society. Therefore their concerns and requirements have to be taken into account within the political and regulatory discussion.
The study (in German language) is available for download.