Belgium regulators propose open networks

By:
Natalie Bannerman
Published on:

Belgium’s telecom regulator BIPT has proposed the opening up of networks in an attempt to stimulate competition within the sector

In an attempt to manage competition in the wholesale broadband and TV market, Belgium’s telecom regulator BIPT and the regional media regulators have called for the opening up of networks further to include also fixed telephony and make incumbent Proximus provide wholesale access to its FTTH network.

The dominant operators in the market: Proximus, Telenet, Brutele and Nethys (Voo) and Coditel (SFR, since acquired by Telenet), must now offer access to their networks to alternative operators.

BIPT have proposed terms such as: non-discrimination, transparency and a new pricing model for wholesale access that will still mean operators will face a cost orientation obligation but cable and fibre networks could only charge fair prices a margin higher than costs all in order to stimulate investment.

With this proposed change, BIPT are also requesting a geographical application of the regulation. In areas where there are three or more operators offering speeds of more than 30 Mbps, there will be a lighter touch of this regulation applied. The areas will be defined by the regulator taking into account co-investment by various operators. Also, areas with reduced access to high-speed services and 5% of households are covered, they too will experience reduced regulation in order to stimulate growth in rural areas.

BIPT is also suggesting the requiring of wholesale access to EuroPacketCable, which follows the implementation of wholesale access to cable networks in the decision on broadband made in 2011.

The proposals are open for comment until September 15.