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Dutch telecoms should open network to rivals, says watchdog

Staff Writer |
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) wants to ensure competition by enabling market participants without fixed and mobile networks of their own to continue to offer services to end-users.

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In that way, sufficient competition will remain in the retail markets, leaving consumers and businesses with sufficient options and competitive prices.

In the draft version of the new market analysis, ACM proposes that, from now on, alternative providers should also be granted access to VodafoneZiggo’s cable network.

As a result, they will be able to offer broadband, television and fixed telephony services over the cable network as well (next to KPN’s copper and fiber-optic networks, which ACM will keep regulating). This was announced today by ACM in its draft decision concerning the market analysis for Wholesale Fixed Access (WFA).

ACM continues to ensure there is sufficient compe

ition Shortly after the market analysis decision on unbundled access came into force on January 1, 2016, Vodafone and Ziggo launched a joint venture.

As a result, there are now two market participants with their own fixed and mobile networks active on the Dutch market, namely KPN and VodafoneZiggo. This means that KPN and VodafoneZiggo have comparable positions on the telecom market.

That is why ACM, sooner than initially expected, decided to conduct a new market analysis.

In this market analysis, ACM has established that, without regulation, KPN and VodafoneZiggo would have collective Significant Market Power (SMP) on the market for fixed networks.

That would enable them to foreclose alternative providers collectively, and to charge end-users high retail prices.

According to ACM, access to copper, fiber-optic and cable networks are now part of a single wholesale market, as opposed to two years ago. This is because of technological developments.

For example, KPN implements improvements to its copper network as a result of which physical unbundled access becomes less attractive, and alternative providers opt for access to a higher level in the network.

For comparable types of access, VodafoneZiggo’s cable network is increasingly becoming a good alternative for offering services to end-users.

Stakeholders have six weeks to submit their opinions about the market analysis.

ACM will subsequently submit a revised draft decision to the European Commission. ACM aims for the decision to come into force in the summer of 2018.

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