ANACOM orders a reduction in the prices of MEO's duct and pole access offers

ANACOM has approved a downward price revision in the maximum monthly fees applied in the reference offers for access to ducts (RDAO) and access to poles (RPAO) by MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimédia. According to the present decision, MEO is required to reduce the maximum monthly prices applied in the RDAO by 35% and in the RPAO by 20%.

ANACOM's decision comes after finding evidence that action is needed in order to ensure the cost orientation of RDAO and RPAO pricing, on the basis that, given the margins seen in recent years, the proposed reduction is appropriate and fully justified.

The reduction in monthly prices to be implemented, with effect from 15 February 2022, seeks to ensure that the wholesale offers in question comply entirely with the obligations imposed on MEO, as holder of significant power in the respective wholesale market, ensuring the promotion of competition and the development and deployment of very high-capacity networks. ANACOM's decision, alongside the regulatory measures imposed on access to ducts and poles in the past, contribute to a reduction in the cost of deploying high-capacity networks, so that, in areas where these networks do not exist, all operators have similar conditions to invest in the development of their own infrastructure. In this way, the price reduction contributes to sustained growth in the levels of coverage of the national territory by the high-capacity networks of the different operators, placing Portugal among the EU27 Member States enjoying the highest levels of coverage by this type of network, even while there are dwellings that continue to lack coverage.

This aspect continues to assume particular importance, at a time when operators are expanding coverage of their mobile and fixed networks to increasingly remote areas (with low population density and greater challenges in terms of economic viability). This expansion will be reinforced by the recent allocation of rights of use of frequencies, especially rights associated with 5G, and by fulfilment of the coverage obligations associated with these rights. This expansion of networks to new areas of the country may result in operators making more intensive use of MEO's physical infrastructure, which is expansive and enjoys a high level of capillarity. This price reduction will lower the costs of deploying networks and is expected to lead to the emergence of new and more appropriate offers, at better prices, bringing benefits to consumers.

This ANACOM decision was preceded by a public consultation and was previously notified to the European Commission.