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ACM: Daily penalty payments if cable operator Ziggo violates the rules for free modem choice in July

There are still areas where cable operator Ziggo does not offer a free choice of modems. This means that Ziggo is in violation of the rules that came into effect early this year. Therefore, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) is imposing an order on the cable operator to comply with the rules by 1 July 2022, subject to periodic penalty payments. If it fails to comply, Ziggo will have to pay a daily penalty payment of 12,500 euros up to a maximum of 500,000 euros.

According to European rules, customers of broadband operators are allowed to choose which terminal equipment (such as modems and/or routers) they use. On 27 July 2021, ACM published Guidelines explaining these rules. These Guidelines state that on 28 January 2022, the rules come into effect in the Netherlands.

“Almost all broadband operators comply with the rules for free modem choice”, says Manon Leijten, Member of the Board of ACM. “We see that, for some customers of Ziggo, it is still not possible to connect a modem and/or router of their own choice. Because we find it important that everybody has that choice, we already announced in February that enforcement action could be taken against a failure to comply with these rules”.

The rules for free modem choice are intended to stimulate innovation and competition on the market for terminal equipment. Furthermore, the barrier for consumers to switch to broadband operators is lower if they are able to continue to use their own modems.