Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Go back to the lobby...

A Dutch Platinum Class mega-uber value reader alerts me to the following post on the site of law firm Houthoff Buruma, which represents, among others, the Amsterdam fiber SPV. This document, dated 19th October, is a letter from the Dutch Housing and Environment Minister to UPC, stating that UPC's request for a prohibition on social housing corporation investment in FTTH would not be granted. UPC had argued that re-investment of social housing corporations' rental charges and service fees in FTTH represented an abuse, given these companies' limited remit to provide social housing, as well as the unfair advantage of access to cheap capital. The H&E Minister counters by stating that under new law, such companies can establish "free subsidiaries," which would be able to invest small amounts of the corporations' capital in venture projects which might be beneficial for both the corporations and the tenants. I think the underlying message here is a strong one: cable protests that housing is housing and nothing more, while the government says that housing is housing plus the greater environment, and part of that might just be an intangible benefit like access to information, which is only achieved through tangible investment.

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