Eric Benedict: What is the regulatory view of convergence?
Sebastien Soriano: I come from an engineering background so the hard technology is often where I base my thinking. The broad convergence of flows both 4G and fibre are becoming the universal networks of flow, this is a fact. As a regulator these networks are becoming more and more essential. so, we have to ensure that we do leave people behind in a situation where no access is essentially exclusion. Ultimately, this means our main focus is on ensuring operator investment in connectivity. a recent EU report focusses regulation solely on connectivity of customers.
At the core of regulation we must always ask is it good for people? Limited convergence certainly is good, there can be more marketing opportunities and lower costs for providers, it proliferates content. But, full convergence has some very key risks:
1. Competition: When you cease to move network because it shows your football, not because you have a good service. It creates customer blocking. There are less risks to competition when there is less exclusivity of content.
2. Investment: It is a fallacy that more regulation equals less investment. We operate to drive investment through regulation. There is a risk with convergence instead of investing in network you invest in content.
Eric Benedict : Managing Director, AlixPartners