Cost analysis and business cases of a full coverage fibre roll-out in the area of the German-speaking Community in Belgium

In the course of the third regional development concept "Zukunft Digitalisierung", the Ministry for the German-Speaking Community in Belgium has set a fibre roll-out as one of the main priorities in the coming years. The decision to roll-out fibre networks to residential and business customers (Fiber to the Home - FTTH ) is intended to develop and secure high economic and social standards.

No commercial fibre roll-out by existing market participants is expected in the German speaking part of Belgium. This is confirmed by the results of our business case and cost modelling. These show that while there are relatively densely populated areas in this part of the country  that could be developed economically, but a full coverage fibre roll-out can only be achieved with public funding, even if the less profitable clusters are cross-subsidized by the more profitable ones.

Against this backdrop we study how an engagement of the public sector could be designed which

  • is in accordance with European and national laws,
      
  • doesn’t distort competition on the retail market and
      
  • limits the need for public subsidies.

We recommend to roll-out passive infrastructure by means of a wholesale-only passive-layer-open model, which is characterised by a separation of the passive network infrastructure from active network operations and retail business.  

This would create a high performance FTTH infrastructure open to all those interested in offering their services and offerings.

The study (in German language) is available for download.

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Dr Christian Wernick
Phone: +49 2224 9225-92
Fax:     +49 2224 9225-68
c.wernick(at)wik.org

Dr Sonia Strube Martins
Phone: +49 2224 9225-43
Fax:     +49 2224 9225-69
s.strubemartins(at)wik.org