Belgium’s Conference of Regulators for the Electronic Communications Sector (CRC) has published its final decisions on wholesale rates for access to the cable networks of Telenet, Brutele and Voo, which will take effect from 1 July. According to the CRC, which comprises the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) and regional regulators, these decisions ‘enable wholesale cable access for alternative operators at fair prices, creating possibilities for competition on the retail market to the benefit of end-users, whilst remunerating the network operators correctly for the access’.
In a press release, Orange Belgium said it regrets that the EC had cleared the regulation with only minor comments. The operator, which is one of the main customers for wholesale cable access, noted that wholesale tariffs, particularly in the case of ultra-high speed internet access services, will remain significantly above ‘fair costs’, to the detriment of consumers. Furthermore, Orange warned the significant increase in costs over time (up to 25%) will result in regular and unjustified price increases for Belgian consumers. The company is calling on regulators to closely monitor the consequences of the decision on retail prices and initiate a review as soon as any negative impact is identified.