Open Cable for combined UPC-Ziggo net?

January 31, 2014 10.16 Europe/London By Robert Briel

coax_cableHenk Kamp, the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs, wants to open up the combined network of UPC and Ziggo to third parties.

If the merger will go ahead, the combined nets will pass around 90% of all Dutch homes and the minister sees no reason why the incumbent operator KPN is obliged to allow third parties on its networks and Ziggo/UPC not.

Meanwhile the Dutch Authority Consumers and Market (ACM) have filed a request with the European Commission to allow a review of the proposed merger. Liberty Global and Ziggo went directly to Brussels rather than asking the national authority.

Earlier this week, the Court of The Hague has ruled that the parts of the Dutch media and telecommunication laws requiring Dutch cable operators to offer their analogue TV packages to third-party resellers was incompatible with European regulations.

This time, the Dutch government is looking at really opening up the cable networks – along the same lines as KPN has to allow third parties on its DSL network. This would give others the right to launch their own services on the cable nets rather than just acting as a reseller.