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Appellate court: KPN’s network to remain open for competitors

On April 25, 2013, the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb), the highest court in the Netherlands on antitrust matters, ruled in appeal cases from various telecom companies against the market analysis decision concerning unbundled access to the connection line of KPN, one of the largest telecom companies in the Netherlands.

The decision is about access that KPN’s competitors have to KPN’s copper network and to the fiber optic network that KPN and Reggefiber are currently setting up together in a substantial number of locations.

The CBb ruled that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) had correctly required KPN to open its network to competitors. The CBb fully upheld the requirements that ACM had imposed on KPN regarding opening the fiber optic network (ODF), as well as the requirements that ACM had imposed in connection with access to KPN’s distribution frames (MDF).

The CBb lowered the minimum tariff for broadband services that KPN resells to providers based on access to street cabinets (WBT). This is positive for competitors that offer broadband services based on WBT, but can be disadvantageous for competitors that do so based on their own access to KPN’s distribution frame (MDF). Ultimately, all providers using WBT, MDF or ODF are vying with cable companies for the telecom consumer’s favor.

Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, comments: ‘This ruling is good news for consumers, who benefit from competition from providers using KPN´s network. Consumers are thus able to choose from many DSL providers or cable companies for broadband internet access. In addition, more and more consumers are able to choose fiber optic: more than 1.4 million households have already been connected.´