Cablecos UPC and Ziggo ordered to disclose access rates

14 May 2009

Dutch portal TotaalTV is reporting that domestic cablecos UPC and Ziggo have been ordered by the national regulator the Independent Post Telecommunications Authority (OPTA) to provide full details including access rates to any competitors wishing to access their cable networks. It is understood the two companies will be compelled to disclose not only how much it costs for competitors to use their networks, but also to illustrate how and under what conditions they will compete afterwards.

In August last year OPTA published a draft decision calling on the country’s cable TV operators to open their networks up to rivals wishing to sell analogue TV services. In its statement, OPTA said those affected by the decision have until 30 September to express their objections. The country’s cable companies’ association has already bemoaned what it sees as a step backwards, rather than forwards. At the time, NLKabel director Rob van Esch said: ‘Consumers have switched to digital television en masse … OPTA is turning the clock back by proposing that analogue television providers be included [on networks].’ The regulator also intends to ease restrictions on former monopoly telecoms operator KPN, saying there is now sufficient competition in the consumer market. The telco has long argued that it has to allow alternative operators to have access to its network while the cable operators – which carry voice and data services – are under no such obligation.

Netherlands, VodafoneZiggo