Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Open season

Three mega-uber value readers have alerted me to the front page of Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, which reports that OPTA is planning to intervene in the KPN FTTC deployment. Readers may recall that I have previously questioned the regulatory implications and effects on competitor investment plans, and today it looks like we have some greater visibility on these. According to this article, KPN will have to keep the PSTN open until 2011, versus their plan to decommission it in 2010. More importantly to the ULL competitors, KPN will have to keep open the 400 central offices where ULL players are present, versus the original plan to shut all 1,350 sites and fund the FTTC investment with the proceeds from real estate disposals. And as for the FTTC plant itself, OPTA will impose an obligation to allow collocation to third parties either in the 200 "super central offices" or at any of the 28,000 local access nodes. In theory this is a big win for the competitors, but I still have concerns, expressed previously, that some of them may not have the stomachs for this level of investment. Moreover, the practicalities of building density and local planning codes may make collocation at the local nodes impractical in many cases.

UPDATE: Cyberfreund and mega-uber value reader Yves over in Brussels has some extremely helpful additional insights, particularly useful for non-Dutch-speakers.

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