While Babcock & Brown seems eager to go ahead with the split of the retail and wholesale divisions of incumbent telecoms provider Eircom it is not yet a done deal.
The Commission for Communications Regulation, (ComReg), will be looking in detail at the possible repercussions a split like this could have.
“Eircom has approached ComReg and the Department of Communications with proposals regarding the possible structural separation of the network and retail components of the company,” said a spokeperson for ComReg.
“ComReg intends to carefully consider the implications before adopting any view on it.”
Eircom’s retail division could fetch its owners Babcock & Brown in the region of €1.8bn for the combined fixed-line services and Meteor mobile division combined.
“As the regulator of Ireland’s electronic communication sector, ComReg’s focus is to ensure that the needs of Irish business and residential consumers are best served by a world-class communications infrastructure, underpinned by increased innovation, sustained investment and greater competition,” the ComReg spokesperson told siliconrepublic.com.
It is difficult to say what the exact repercussion of this split would be, but following the retail/wholesale split of BT in the UK in 2005 the number of unbundled lines quadrupled and there was an unprecedented growth in triple play services.
The agreement made between Ofcom and BT at this time redefined the nature of telecommunications regulation in the UK.
By Marie Boran