With the establishment of the Supervisory Board in 2008, governance of the Undertakings was duly implemented; this represents one of the most important aspects of the agreement reached between TIM, the incumbent with Significant Market Power (SPM), and the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority - Agcom to ensure transparency and non-discrimination as regards access to network infrastructures by all authorized telecommunications operators. Specifically, on June 19th, 2008 - pursuant to law no. 248/2006 - Telecom Italia, at that time, submitted a proposal of Undertakings to Agcom aimed at integrating and consolidating the existing obligations pertinent to equal treatment in the supply of access services to its fixed network and offering greater guarantees of transparency in relation to the quality of the network and its future evolutions.
The Authority's assessment process of these commitments concluded in December 2008 with Resolution no.718/08 /CONS, with which the Authority - endorsing the commitments as applicable to improving the conditions of competition in the sector through adequate and stable measures, as well as being effective in eliminating the anticompetitive consequences of the offenses disputed in the previously initiated sanctioning procedures - approved them and made them mandatory.
The Undertakings, aimed at ensuring equal treatment for all telecommunication operators on the Italian market, were structured on the basis of equivalence of output (EoO); Telecom Italia, TIM today, was called upon to provide to the various operators wholesale access services on equivalent conditions (therefore, guaranteeing equal treatment) compared to what Telecom Italia itself offered through its retail departments.
The governance of Telecom Italia's access network and the SB’s role
In parallel with assuming the responsibility of the Undertakings, TIM reorganized its management structures through the establishment of Open Access, a business model set up to ensure efficiency, quality and equal treatment as regards to:
- all the development and maintenance of the access network’s technological infrastructures;
- the processes of providing access services and its maintenance;
- all the related technical assistance.
The role of Open Access was that to provide its access services to TIM's Retail Sales Department and the same to other authorized operators through a specialized wholesale department; this is the entity responsible of all commercial and technical requests (deals, projects, sales, assistance and invoicing) regarding the access network. The Open Access model provided services in terms of Equivalence of Output (EoO), on the basis of which the offer of the service to TIM’s commercial division and to other operators transpires in ways that comply with the principle of equal, but not necessarily identical, treatment.
In accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Undertakings, on April 1st, 2009 Telecom Italia established the fully autonomous and independent Supervisory Board that is responsible for supervising the correct implementation of the aforesaid Undertakings.
Following the conclusion of the market analysis by the Authority (Del. No. 623/15/CONS), TIM proceeded to reinforce the guarantees of non-discrimination in favor of other authorized operators by introducing a new order delivery system based on Equivalence of Input (EoI) that is now the reference for a number of wholesale services including LLU, SLU and VULA FTTH. The remaining access services are still provided following the EoO scheme. Furthermore, Agcom has reinforced the equivalence model, extending the SB’s scope of intervention to an overall respect of the principles of non-discrimination, not limiting its scope to mere compliance with the 2008 Undertakings.