EC approves OPTA’s proposals on cable network access

2 Mar 2006

The European Commission has approved proposals put forward by the Netherlands’ telecoms regulator, OPTA, concerning regulating cable network access. According to Telecompaper, the new measures will require cablecos to provide access to their networks for TV service providers, using a cost-based access rate approved by the watchdog. The cable companies will also be expected to offer an unbundled basic TV package, with no requirement on the customer to take digital TV or internet access, and no stipulation that they must buy a decoder for the service. The regulator’s proposals also call for greater transparency in pricing and tariff structures, particularly where they concern premium content, but it has agreed not to impose price controls after the big three operators – UPC, Essent Kabelcom and Casema – agreed to cap price rises to no more than the rate of inflation.