The Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA has published the final version of the Open Cable rules and pricing for the nation’s two major operators, Ziggo and UPC.
The two operators will have to make their networks available to third parties resellers within a 12 week period for subscribers that only take the analogue TV product from the cabler. Originally, OPTA said the period would be eight weeks, but following complaints from the operators, the extension was implemented.
For cable customers that take dual or triple play bundles from the operator, the period has been extended from 28 to 35 weeks. The new ruling means that current Ziggo and UPC analogue TV customers can start to switch providers from June and multiplay customers from November.
OPTA has put the wholesale pricing at €8.83 per month for UPC Nederland and €8.45 for Ziggo. This is 1 cent lower than originally announced. Also, newcomers have to pay a €30,000 fee to the operator to launch the service.
There are a number of procedures against the OPTA Open Cable regulation still pending, but this will not affect the timetable of implementation. Both UPC and Ziggo, as well as the newcomers, have complained about the market analysis, published by OPTA in March 2009. This analysis forms the basis of the Open Cable regulation.
The Dutch trade court (CVBB – College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven) will start to hear the cases on March 18.
There is a separate disagreement between the two cable operators and newcomers Tele 2 and Online about third party billing with regards to the content of analogue TV channels. OPTA will rule on this matter before the end of this month.