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ACM sets lower access tariffs for KPN and Glaspoort for promoting fast internet

Dutch telecom operator KPN and fiber-optic company Glaspoort have submitted new and improved proposals for tariffs and conditions for access to their fiber-optic networks. That access is meant for broadband providers without networks of their own. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has found that these revised commitments promote healthy competition on the market for fast internet. In addition, these revised commitments offer certainty regarding the access conditions for a longer period of time, which is positive for companies that wish to make investments. That is why ACM has declared KPN and Glaspoort’s proposals binding. This means that ACM will enforce compliance with these new conditions and tariffs, which take effect today, and with which KPN and Glaspoort will have to comply until 2030. 

Manon Leijten, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “The nationwide roll-out of fiber-optic is important because it will ensure that as many people as possible have access to fast internet. In that context, there must be sufficient competition so that people will have the best quality at the best price possible. At the same time, it is essential for the roll-out that the rules are clear so that companies are able to make investments on the basis of those rules. With the latest proposals submitted by KPN and Glaspoort, both of those objectives are realized, and that is why we have declared the proposals binding.” 

Risks to healthy competition

Without these proposals, ACM sees risks to competition on the market for fast internet. ACM investigations have revealed that the current, non-regulated access tariffs used by KPN and Glaspoort are so high that there is too little room for healthy competition on their networks. That may lead to higher prices for consumers. Moreover, consumers opt for higher download speeds less often if these are much more expensive than lower speeds. 

New proposals following responses from other market participants

Last year, ACM pointed out the risks that it had identified in several investigations. Following those investigations, KPN and Glaspoort in April proposed to use lower tariffs and revised conditions for certain types of access to their fiber-optic networks. These proposals were consulted with the market by ACM on April 15. Several telecom operators submitted critical comments. KPN and Glaspoort subsequently drafted new proposals.

As a result, the tariffs for the types of access that these proposals concern will actually go down in all situations. In addition, KPN and Glaspoort have lowered the indexation of the access tariffs, so that these will follow the currently high inflation rate to a limited extent only. For further details surrounding the new proposals, ACM refers to the decision and the list of questions and answers, which can be found in the Dutch version of this press release. ACM believes that the new proposals offer telecom operators sufficient opportunities to compete in a durable and effective manner by having access to the fiber-optic networks of KPN and Glaspoort.

Market analysis decision

The investigation for the market analysis decision that ACM conducted earlier this year due to the commitments of KPN and Glaspoort will be completed this fall. In a market analysis decision, ACM can impose requirements on a market participant with a dominant position, for example reducing the tariffs for network access. In the investigation, ACM examines whether more regulation is still necessary, considering the improved access tariffs and conditions to which KPN and Glaspoort are bound for the next eight years. That is why, in the market analysis, ACM will, for now, use the working hypothesis that that further regulation of KPN and Glaspoort is no longer needed. ACM with share the investigation’s results with all parties involved, and ask for their opinions before finalizing the decision. 

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