Dutch cable market forced to open up

Regulator seeks to increase competition

BRUSSELS — Dutch cable TV operators will be forced to sell cable connections for repackaging by competitors under plans released Tuesday by the national telecoms regulator, OPTA. Move is intended to address a perceived lack of competition in the market.

Digital offers such as KPN’s Digitenne, plus Internet and satellite broadcast services “do not appear to bring enough pressure to bear on cable tariffs and have failed to produce a greater choice of analog cable subscriptions,” OPTA said.

It also concluded that a temporary tariff freeze introduced by the cable companies was not a sustainable solution.

“It is for this reason that OPTA has imposed a resale of the cable subscription, so as to ensure that alternative providers are able to compete on the cable network,” it said. “This will give consumers a choice of providers from whom they can buy an analog cable bundle.”

Cable companies have been invited to comment on the proposals, which with EU approval could come into effect by the year’s end.

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