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The National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) consider that the broadband Internet access market (256 Kbps and higher), can and must develop faster than the first half-year of 2008.
As the Director of the Agency says, though the number of subscribers to broadband Internet increased in the first semester by 60%, coming up to 75 thousand, whereas the penetration rate per 100 population increased from 1,4% at the end of 2007 to 2,2% in 2008, such results do not meet the needs of an information society. The Agency is also concerned by the fact that broadband Internet access services undergo development mainly in big cities, while in rayons the dial-up (ordinary telephone line) access still prevails, which no longer satisfies the real demands of users.
However, Sergiu Sitnic mentioned the positive development in this sector in terms of a dynamic increase in the number of subscriber base for broadband Internet access services and a slight decrease in the number of Dial-up subscribers, in the fist semester of 2008 and for the first time in the history of Internet in Moldova. As estimated, this tendency is going to persist in 2009, mobile operators launch 3G services in Moldova.
ANRCETI Director declared that currently there are real conditions for an acceleration in the development of broadband Internet access services, specifying that he means, first of all, easier entry of new network and service providers on this market. He believes the enforcement of the Regulations on Conducting Activities of Installation, Operation, Management, Maintenance and/or Liquidation of Electronic Communications at state borders of the Republic of Moldova, approved by the Government on August 12, 2008 and the implementation of the general authorization regime as of September 15, 2008, will essentially enhance the development of the Internet access market. We expect more providers to come to the market and offer direct access to the Internet and better options for end-users, and the tariffs for such services to decrease. In this context, the Director said that the implementation of the new electronic services for citizens by the Government and business community, such as e-declarations, e-commerce, e-voting, e-learning etc., will also increase the use of the Internet.
S. Sitnic said that after the approval of the regulatory acts on identification and analysis of relevant markets in the sector and the designation of providers with significant market power, the Agency will examine the situation in terms of barriers to entry into leased line and local loop access market and will impose, where necessary, on operators with significant market power, obligations as provided by law. The director also expressed concern regarding the JSC MOLDTELECOM restricting the access of alternative operators of ADSL services to the local telephone loop and associated facilities, which fact does not allow them to provide competitive broadband Internet access services in the rayons of Moldova. He mentioned that the Agency will not let this situation continue, as it has a negative impact on the market and on potential Internet users.
According to the data available with ANRCETI, in the first semester of this year, the total volume of sales in data transport and Internet access data increased, compared with the same period of 2007, by 13,9% and summed up to 72,5 million lei. The JSC MOLDTELECOM's market share, in terms of turnover, increased by 13,6% and reached 64,2%. The share of this operator on broadband Internet access market increased 10,2% showing 76%, the rest of the market being shared by alternative operators.
Other statistical data regarding the development of broadband Internet access market can be found on the Agency web page www.anrceti.md.
NRAECIT Press Service
September 17, 2008
tel/fax: 251-306, 079422244