21.41 Europe/London, August 18, 2011 By Robert Briel
Marja van Bijsterveldt, the Dutch minister for media, says she has no intention of telling cable operator Ziggo how to run its business. Answering questions in Parliament from the Socialist Party, she said cable operators are free to determine the number of analogue channels and the government does not intend to regulate pricing.
“Cable companies, including Ziggo, reduce analogue distribution gradually in favour of digital distribution,” she said. “On the other hand, Ziggo is now expanding its digital standard package to over 60 channels, more channels in HD, and TV and movies on demand. The digital standard is sold at the same price. The government is indeed not about the pricing of cable companies. However, [telecoms regulator] OPTA may intervene if it finds that a cable operator has too much power over the market.”
She added: “The government supports and encourages digitisation and innovation in telecommunications networks, including digitisation of broadcast distribution via cable. For most consumers and broadcasters, this is an advantage: more distribution space, more channels and more interactivity. In this context, cable companies are allowed to switch from analogue to digital distribution at their own pace. It is to them to decide how the transition will take place.”