OPTA sets out its position on KPN’s IP network

4 Oct 2006

The Netherlands’ telecoms regulator OPTA has published a paper to clarify its position on the regulatory impact of KPN’s plans for an all-IP network, writes Telecompaper. The industry watchdog considers that although KPN should be allowed to upgrade its network with IP, ‘regulation is needed to avoid a number of potential negative effects on market competition’. OPTA says the best way to ensure effective competition is to encourage competition ‘on an infrastructure basis’ and that it hopes not to have to impose regulations at a service level. The regulator says KPN would be required to provide a suitable alternative to the current practice of local loop unbundling (LLU), and has proposed several solutions such as the possibility of KPN giving rivals access to its metro access network, or allowing them to lay fibre-optic cables alongside its own. KPN’s plans for IP have led to a situation where its competitors are no longer investing in DSL networks. To redress this, OPTA says it expects KPN to ‘temporarily offer data services access in geographic areas where rivals have no DSL network’. The obligation will be removed once the IP network is operational. In addition, the former monopoly will be required to give rivals two years notice of any plans to shut down a local exchange so they have time to migrate their customers to the new IP network’s cabinets.