The European Commission has cleared the tariffs set by regulator OPTA for reselling analogue cable TV in The Netherlands on the UPC and Ziggo networks. From early this year, alternative providers will be able to buy analogue radio and TV wholesale services at €8.84 from UPC and at €8.46 from Ziggo per month per subscriber (before tax). Price increases are limited to the inflation rate.
In March 2009 the Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA obliged Ziggo and UPC, the two biggest cable operators in the country, to allow other operators to resell their analogue radio and TV packages. Now OPTA has drafted a decision setting out how UPC and Ziggo must calculate the price which they will charge other providers who wish to resell UPC and Ziggo’s analogue radio and TV signals to their customers. This will allow alternative operators to make triple play offers covering telephony, internet access and possibly also digital IPTV over the phone line, as well as analogue radio and TV channels over TV cable.
OPTA expects that this will lead to more competition between cable and alternative operators and to lower retail prices. The draft decision also defines when and how tariffs may be adjusted by the cable operators and by OPTA itself.
The Commission has analysed OPTA’s draft tariff decision, which implements the regulatory measure imposed by OPTA on the two cable operators in March this year, and has made no comments.
Under EU law, OPTA must carry out a national and a Community consultation on its draft decision. These consultations allow all stakeholders (e.g. infrastructure operators, service providers and other national telecoms regulators) to comment on OPTA’s regulatory proposal. In this particular case both consultations run in parallel. Thereafter, OPTA may adopt the resulting measure and must communicate it to the European Commission.