KPN is required to present an offer to Cistron Telecom BV and Eager Telecom for co-location and unbundled access to the local loop within two weeks. OPTA has taken a provisional decision to this effect in the two cases which these companies had brought against KPN. Thanks to this ruling by OPTA we have taken a major step towards the widespread provision of broadband services, such as DSL and ADSL.
OPTA wishes to stress the significance of this ruling from a European perspective. Jens Arnbak, the chairman of the OPTA Commission, has this to say about it:
Government leaders and the European Union would like all countries to have made arrangements for unbundled access to the local loop by 1 January 2001 in order to ensure that it will be possible to offer broadband services, such as DSL and ADSL. This will make it possible to provide qualitatively superior Internet services, for example. The rulings which OPTA has handed down are exactly in line with this European policy.
KPN will have to make Cistron Telecom BV an offer for both co-location (the installation of equipment in KPN’s telephone exchanges) and for unbundled access to the local loop within two weeks. The Delft Centrum site is the first where Cistron wishes to install equipment. OPTA has rejected the delivery date of the second quarter of 2002 which KPN has cited for this site. KPN has two weeks within which to clarify when co-location facilities can be supplied for Cistron in Delft Centrum. Within the same period KPN will also have to indicate when it can supply the facilities requested for unbundled access to the local loop subject to a reasonable delivery time.
According to OPTA’s second ruling, Eager Telecom must also receive a proposal from KPN for both co-location and unbundled access to the local loop. There is an important aspect to this ruling in that KPN has a duty to offer Eager’s existing customers an alternative during the period until access can be provided to the local loop.
In the event that the parties to both cases fail to reach agreement within six weeks, they will be required to notify OPTA accordingly. The latter will then make a final decision in respect of both disputes.
Prior to this OPTA had already approved a monthly rental of NLG 27.50 per local loop which KPN had proposed. Other telecommunications companies will be required to pay this rental to KPN for unbundled access to the local loop. The local loop refers to the line from the local exchange to a subscriber’s telephone connection at home. Access to the local loop is also referred to as MDF (main distribution frame) access. With regard to co-location, OPTA is preparing guidelines which the market parties will be required to comply with. OPTA has previously published a consultation document, following which consultations were held in the market. According to OPTA, KPN is required to uphold the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and cost-orientation when dealing with applications for co-location.