The Spanish telecom regulator, the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), has released a report in which it predicts that between 43% and 46% of households will connect to the internet using a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connection by 2023. The feasibility study by the regulator also forecasts that by that date, up to three alternative operators could compete with incumbent Telefonica in high demand cities, including Barcelona and Madrid; the CMT highlighted the aforementioned cities as the most attractive for FTTH developments. Alternative access in smaller cities is likely to be more limited, however, with the regulator estimating that Telefonica may only face a single competitor for FTTH business in towns and cities with between 1,000 and one million residents. The CMT also highlighted the expected timelines for investment recovery on FTTH rollouts, claiming that in cities with a population larger than 50,000 alternative operators may recoup their investment in a period of between nine to twelve years. For towns and cities with a population between 5,000 and 50,000 this would increase to 13 to 14 years; the regulator does not expect a significant alternative operator presence in regions with less than 5,000 people.
The study was based on the assumption that all alternative operators will deploy FTTH networks by renting the pipeline infrastructure of Telefonica; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, in January this year the CMT announced that it would maintain existing obligations for Telefonica to provide access to infrastructure at prices based on its own production costs for its in-deployment FTTH infrastructure.