Layer 2 Wholesale Access Products in the European Union

Document number: BoR (14) 19

Document date: 17-02-2014

Date of registration: 17-02-2014

Document type:
Author: BEREC

The report has the objective to study the increasing trend in recent years for the introduction of (active) layer 2 (Ethernet) wholesale access products (“L2 WAP”) in market 4 (wholesale local access) or market 5 (wholesale broadband access) by some National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs).

This document provides an overview of the L2 WAP currently in place in six countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) and is aimed at gaining a deeper insight into these products. It has been developed also in order to foster the exchange of experiences and to contribute to the harmonisation of regulatory instruments used in the EU. It covers both L2 WAP with local points of handover (PoHs) (also known as VULA) and L2 WAP with PoHs at higher levels of the network hierarchy, e.g. regional PoHs (also known as enhanced bitstream).

The report contains a comparison between the L2 WAPs considered, which shows that there are many similarities from a high-level perspective. However, the product specifications are usually quite different. There are differences regarding the price structure, the VLAN concept, overbooking possibilities, quality of service (QoS) performance targets, customer identification, security measures, maximum Ethernet frame size and others. They reflect the differences in national circumstances, in particular the differences in the network structure and access technologies, in the equipment and/or technical solutions used by the incumbent operator, and differences in the requirements of alternative operators (e.g. the importance of IPTV-multicast or business services).

Most of the L2 WAP analysed in the report have only been imposed or implemented recently and are not yet widely used by alternative operators. The actual demand for these products has to be assessed additionally with the increasing NGA rollout before further conclusions are drawn.

Therefore, the information presented in the report has a descriptive character and is not intended to be normative or to recommend best practice.

The report has been prepared for internal use and is not available to the public.