Belgian regulators finalise Open Cable rules

In smaller countries competition is not always easy to organize, but in Belgium the regulator is showing some courage and is making an attempt, by opening up the cable network services to alternate operators (for fixed tariffs). This piece of regulatuion is heavily fought and quite unique: an earlier attempt in the Netherlands where cable is almost as dominant in TV distribution led to a defeat of the regulator on procedural grounds. They did not reattempt the procedure on the grounds that competition had increased in the mean time (IPTV and fibre are gaining ground, traditional cable keeps on loosing ground in the Netherlands). Belgium has only two competing platforms: cable (the regional operator) and Belgacoom (IPTV). Now thirds can enter the market. Since it is a deal on service level technical conditions will be equal to the existing cable environment.

Recently Telenet also lauched Common Interface Plus under some encouragement of public opinion and regulators. But this only makes Telenet services available on receivers other than Telenet’s own proprietary ones; it does not enable other operators.

Belgian regulators finalise Open Cable rules.