Former monopoly fixed line operator KPN of the Netherlands has agreed terms with its competitors which will enable it to begin rollout of its next generation network as planned, reports Reuters citing a spokesperson for KPN. The incumbent’s plans for its new network caused a headache for rival providers which had to rethink their own business models after KPN announced it was extending its fibre-optic networks all the way to street cabinets, effectively making redundant most of its 1,400 locals exchanges where its competitors have equipment installed. Under the new deal being agreed, KPN will allow its rivals to connect into its network at different points along its path – either by installing equipment in street boxes, or by accessing the network higher up in the chain. The former monopoly is also offering wholesale access on the new network and says that as a result of the concord, it is back on course to shut down the local exchanges by 2010. The upgrade is estimated to be costing KPN around USD1.2 billion and will be financed in part through the sale of the land on which the exchanges currently stand.
Reuters reports that KPN has signed memorandums of understanding with Tele2-Versatel, as well as DSL operators Orange Netherlands and BBNed. The Dutch telecoms regulator OPTA had given KPN until 15 July to strike a deal or face the prospect of the watchdog implementing its own plan on the matter. Commenting on the new deal, Tele2-Versatel CEO Henrik Ringmar said it would ‘enable Tele2-Versatel to continue to offer both to our business customers and consumers qualitative and price leading products based on our own infrastructure’.