Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breaking news!

A Palladium Club mega-uber value reader tells me that the world should awake tomorrow to a story by EuroTelcofriend Vincent Dekker in Trouw that KPN and Reggefiber are planning a 5 - 7 year, EUR6 - 7bn roll-out of FTTH across the Netherlands. I guess we can read from this that the regulatory approval of KPN's acquisition of a 41% stake in Reggefiber, still pending, is forthcoming. 

Interesting that this news comes just ahead of the OFCOM conference on Thursday and Friday. As I've stated many times to anyone who would listen, I think the movement toward fiber in the Dutch market has benefitted from some unique market characteristics: having a forward-looking and pragmatic incumbent, historically strong (but fading?) cable companies, and the presence of committed entreneurial capital in the form of Dik Wessels. The comparison with the UK, and indeed most of the rest of Europe, where many, if not all, of these ingredients are lacking, is not flattering. 

As my source suggests, if fiber proponents are looking to position widescale FTTH projects as one flavor of a WPA-like economic stimulus package, then I guess the Dutch are about to fire the shot heard around the fiber world, though, as he points out, with no public money involved. 

UPDATE: the story can be found here (alas, in Dutch - please use the barbaric translation tool of your choice), and Vincent's related blogpost is here.  

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