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The Netherlands: Cable unbundling November 2, 2006

Posted by Jasper in broadband, Regulation.

This is slightly old news, but nonetheless important. On 24 October Dutch parliamentarians voted to approve a proposal that forces domestic cable TV companies (CATV) to share their networks with rivals. The new proposal is effectively a cable network unbundling (CNU) initiative and replicates the local loop unbundling (LLU) scenario in traditional telecoms networks. It also sets a precedent as this is the first time that authorities have succeeded in bringing forth legislation that would harmonise regulations for cablecos and their telco counterparts. Hence after years of insisting on a privileged classification, the cable industry may come under the same regulations as the telecoms industry.

Presently, the EC is silent on CNU, focusing instead on LLU in traditional telephone networks and the new fibre access networks incumbent telecoms companies plan to roll-out in future. Prima facie, the arguments for intervention in the CATV may not hold for the CATV industry, so it will interesting to see how this develops.



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