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OPTA publishes guidelines for unbundled access: New impetus for competition and innovation in the telecommunications market

Today OPTA, the regulatory authority for the telecommunications market, published the rules (guidelines) which KPN and its competitors are required to comply with when leasing the local loop, which is also known as unbundled access. In due course consumers and business users of the fixed telephone network will be able to obtain subscriptions with competitors of KPN Telecom, even if they do not have their own local loop. In order to do this a competing company will have to lease the cable from KPN, which runs from the local exchange to the telephone socket in a subscriber’s home.

It is anticipated that telecommunications companies will mainly use this facility to provide advanced services, such as video on demand and rapid Internet access. In the future mobile phone operators that do not have their own network will also be able to provide a combination of landline and mobile phone services using a single number.

What is important in the case of unbundled access is the tariff structure which OPTA is proposing. It offers those competitors that do not have their own local network the opportunity to acquire their own customers now, but does not discourage them from building their own local loops. In the first instance, the rental will be less than a KPN subscription. In five years’ time the tariff will rise to a level well above this subscription tariff.

Unbundled access is good for competition in various markets, presents opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises and brings the electronic highway close to home.