Telenor announces the shutdown of the copper network in 2022, but if Nkom gets what it wants, plans will be pushed back until 2025.
On Monday morning, Telenor sent out a press release stating that the copper network will be shut down in 2022. The copper network is the traditional mains network for broadband and landline in Norway, but is more than 100 years old and has been phased out in favor of fiber in recent years.
Telenor has always wanted to slow down the network, and thus announced that it would become history very soon.
There is now only about a year left for all of our customers in Norway to switch to convenient and durable mobile and fiber solutions, says CEO Petter-Børre Furberg of Telenor Norway. This affects 91,000 customers on landlines and 83,000 on broadband.
The message The state’s National Communications Agency (Nkom) arrives in the field with a clear message to the telecom giant.
Authorities say Telenor cannot shut down the copper network in 2022, but is required to keep it open for another three years.
We would like to emphasize here that we have instructed Telenor to continue the copper network for a transition period until the fall of 2025, said the press release on Wednesday morning.
They do this to ensure that all customers and businesses join the digital transformation.
– Access to the phone and the Internet is very important for everyone in Norway in today’s digital society. Thus, Telenor as a commercial player cannot unilaterally decide on major changes in customer access to the copper network without team play with the authorities. We must therefore exercise our duty of authority and limit Telenor’s freedom to operate due to societal considerations and market competition, says Pål Wien Espen, Director of Nkom.
– Telenor should not be in doubt
Nkom was open to network shutdowns faster than they had in the fall of 2025, but then compensation solutions for wholesale customers had to be good enough.
– But work on such a transitional plan was interrupted in September, when the parties turned out to be too far apart. Thus, Nkom’s decision is upheld, and Telenor must comply with it.
The authorities will ensure that access remains real for companies that provide broadband in the copper network.
Telenor should have no doubt that Nkom will not accept the shutdown of the copper network in violation of decisions already taken. The company has only a very limited opportunity to close lines for cost reasons, and here we will continue to pursue the company with an eye for controversy, Inger says.
Furthermore, in the press release, Nkom writes that Telenor has a major and important clean-up mission ahead of it.
– Reservoirs and stations that are no longer in use in some cases have not been removed, and this should be done normally. At the same time, here Telenor cannot blame Nkom’s decision that the cleaning process takes time, when the truth is that this is due to insufficient maintenance or the failure to remove discarded equipment that has not been used for a long time.
It should be clearer in communication
Telenor wants to clarify one thing for itself.
– It is important to note that Telenor’s end customers will be the ones to switch to new solutions by December 31, 2022. At the same time, we relate to Nkom’s decision on the legal right of other broadband operators to use the copper network by fall 2025, Magnus Line tells Nettavisen .
Did Nakoum misunderstand her when they came out with this press release?
“We think it’s positive that Nkom has come up with a clarification and has acted faithfully against their order to maintain wholesale access until 2025,” he adds.
Nkom’s Pål Wien Espen thinks the point is that Telenor should be clear in its communications that the network will not be shutting down in 2022 for wholesale customers.
– They can clearly say that their ambition is to transfer all their customers on copper to other technologies, that’s fine. But they are creating market uncertainty through this communication. They should also be clear that suitable alternative products will be offered to their customers for their service as a prerequisite for Telenor to be able to shut down copper service. Espen tells Netavisen that when it came to agreeing on the migration plan, there was an acknowledgment that the two were very far apart and that it was appropriate to continue down this path.