The Ministry of Communications will not require Partner and Cellcom to make the infrastructure that they have already deployed in residential buildings available to other communications operators. The Ministry of Communications today published its guidelines in advance of a hearing on deployment of fiber-optic infrastructure in buildings. The ministry ruled that the new format would apply only to new buildings. This means that sharing of communications infrastructure in new buildings in which no operator has deployed any infrastructure will be jointly financed by the operators who want access to the building, but Partner and Cellcom will not be obligated to allow access to infrastructure in buildings in which it is already deployed.
Under the proposed arrangement, an inland communications operator planning to deploy fiber-optic infrastructure in existing residential buildings without fiber-optic infrastructure will have to offer every other inland communications operator the opportunity to use the infrastructure it deploys. In order to accept the offer, the other operators will have to either pay a share of the cost of setting up the infrastructure or make some other commercial agreement with the company deploying the infrastructure.
Furthermore, the communications company deploying the fiber-optic infrastructure in a building will have to deploy it in a manner that will enable at least one other inland communications operator to use it besides the operator(s) that reached agreement with the deploying company for joint use of the infrastructure, before the infrastructure is built.
The operators will have to report their deployment plans to the Ministry of Communications ahead of time so that other operators will be able to take part in the investment and gain access to the infrastructure. If an operator failed to reach agreement with an operator that deployed infrastructure in a building and wants to use the fiber-optic infrastructure that was deployed, it will have to pay a proportionate share of the investment in the infrastructure. If another operator wants to be hooked up to the same building, it will also pay its relative share of the infrastructure cost, plus a premium.
The Ministry of Communications' purpose is to prevent deployment of duplicate infrastructure in buildings, and to facilitate joint use of the infrastructure deployed.
Bezeq said, "Bezeq has always supported reasonable regulation for deployment of one vertical fiber-optics infrastructure system in each building. Unfortunately, the policy document published by for the hearing creates harmful and illogical discrimination by inexplicably excepting buildings in which infrastructure has already been deployed. As stated in the hearing documents, duplicate deployment creates excessive and unnecessary cost. This is true for both existing and new buildings. We hope and believe that the Ministry of Communications will come to its senses and decide in favor of complete, equal, and fair sharing of vertical fiber-optic infrastructure in buildings in which infrastructure has already been deployed, and of new infrastructure installed in the future."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 6, 2020
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