ANACOM releases Report on Regulation, Supervision and Other Activities

ANACOM has today submitted the 2017 Report on Regulation, Supervision and Other Activities to the Portuguese Government and to Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic). This report summarises the main activities pursued by ANACOM in the implementation of its 2017-2019 activities plan.

In the context of defending citizens' interests, the Report highlights ANACOM’s work on:

  • the application of corrective measures to MEO, NOS, Nowo and Vodafone for having raised prices while failing to notify customers of the increases and, at the same time, failing to notify customers that they were free to cancel contracts without charge even if subject to contract lock-in periods or, alternatively, obtain restoration of the same conditions as before the amendments;
  • the determination to MEO of the obligation to obtain express consent from customers taking up the offer of the operator's "2GB adicionais de Internet" campaign and prohibiting the operator from billing or charging customers in respect of any sum related to provision of these services without first obtaining their express consent;
  • the recommendation to providers that they only require payment from customers for content subscribed to online via WAP pages in cases where customers have given prior and express authorisation through a declaration on a durable medium;
  • the recommendation to providers not to charge customers for the period of time they were without service due to the fires that destroyed a considerable amount of telecommunications infrastructure in 2017. ANACOM also decided to investigate the impact of forest fires on the infrastructure of electronic communications networks. Having noted the exposure of these networks to high risk factors of forest fires, ANACOM recommended a set of measures to Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic), the Government, municipalities and telecommunications operators seeking to improve the protection and resilience of telecommunications infrastructure and services. A working group was established to further this preliminary examination and present proposals;
  • the imposition on CTT of a requirement to apply the compensation mechanism for failing to comply with the quality of service indicator "non-priority mail not delivered within 15 working days", whereby CTT was required to apply a deduction of 0.03 percentage points to the weighted average variation of the prices of correspondence, postal parcels and editorial mail services allowed for 2017;
  • establishment of postal network density targets that CTT is required to meet until 2020, to ensure that there is no deterioration in the quality of the universal postal service over the coming years and to ensure that the postal network has sufficient territorial coverage to meet the needs of the population. With the same objective, during 2017, ANACOM was heavily engaged in work to redefine the quality indicators of the universal postal service, making them more demanding - these will be binding on CTT until 2020;
  • studies undertaken to find the best solutions for migrating the digital terrestrial television network to a new frequency band, given the need to free up the 700 MHz band, where DTT currently operates, by the middle of 2020. The aim is to minimise the impact of migration on consumers;
  • the handling of complaints received by ANACOM - around 101 thousand complaints in 2017. During the year, and in order to make the process of examining and processing complaints more efficient, ANACOM initiated a project to modify the procedures used.

In 2017, with regard to market analyses, the Report highlights ANACOM’s work as follows:

  • approval of the final decision on the analysis of the markets for wholesale local access provided at a fixed location (market 3a) and for wholesale central access at a fixed location for mass-market products (market 3b); it was concluded that it was not appropriate to impose obligations as regards access to MEO's fibre network in non-competitive areas;
  • approval of the decision on the wholesale market for call origination on the public telephone network provided at a fixed location enabling provision of special services supported by non-geographic numbering; it was concluded that the obligations imposed in this market on the operator previously identified as having SMP should cease to apply, except for the price control obligation (to be withdrawn in 2018).

During the year, a number of wholesale offers were revised, in particular:

  • the Leased Lines Reference Offer (LLRO) and the Reference Ethernet Leased Lines Offer (RELLO).
  • the completion of much of the work that culminated in amendments to the Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) - IP interconnection - and Reference Unbundling Offer (RUO) implemented in 2018.

ANACOM also approved provisional and urgent measures as regards suspension of the entry into force of amendments introduced by MEO to the Reference Duct Access Offer (RDAO) and the Reference Poles Access Offer (RPAO) - these amendments implied a deterioration of the competition and investment conditions in the sector, contrary to ANACOM's objective of increasing competition in the market.

In the context of the ANACOM's supervisory/enforcement and sanctioning activity:

  • more than 6,600 enforcement actions were undertaken, focusing on electronic communications services, postal services, oversight of the rules governing telecommunications infrastructure in buildings and housing developments, verification of radio equipment and spectrum monitoring;
  • ANACOM also examined a wide range of offers available on the market to check their compliance with the TSM Regulation and approved the first report on the application of Articles 3 and 4 of the Regulation, which covered the period from 30 April 2016 to 30 April 2017;
  • 416 new cases with offence proceedings were opened at ANACOM and 122 cases were concluded. In total, fines were imposed totalling 1.7 million euros.

As part of its international activity, ANACOM took part in the definition of the strategy for the creation of the Digital Single Market in Europe (DSM), took part in the European Commission public consultation on the revision of EU consumer legislation and was also greatly involved in negotiation of the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council for a European Electronic Communications Code and the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Regulation on BEREC. ANACOM was also involved in the negotiation of several other draft European Parliament and Council regulations: Regulation on the delivery of cross-border postal parcels; Regulation on guidelines for trans-European networks in the area of telecommunications infrastructure; and Regulation on the promotion of Internet connectivity in local communications and public spaces (WiFi4EU). With regard to WiFi4EU, ANACOM also formulated the plan for the dissemination of this initiative at a national level; this took place in 2018.

Furthermore, ANACOM followed the work carried out on the 5G Action Plan, a European Commission initiative aimed at ensuring the timely introduction of a new generation of network technologies, opening prospects for new digital economic and business models.

Meanwhile, ANACOM's Chairman was elected to chair the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (ERGP) in 2019, acting as vice-president in 2018 and also in 2020.

Within the scope of ANACOM’s activity carried out in advising the government, a public consultation was launched on the revision of the conditions governing provision of the universal electronic communications service in its various components, and work was done to ensure monitoring of the deployment of next generation networks under contracts concluded between the Portuguese State and DSTelecom and Fibroglobal. Several opinions were also prepared in response to requests from the Office of the Secretary of State for Infrastructure.

Finally, the activity carried out in 2017 also involved an opinion from ANACOM on the merger between MEO and Media Capital, submitted to AdC in September, following a request from the competition authority.