Polish full service provider Netia has begun offering cable services in Warsaw and Krakow over DOCSIS3.0-enabled hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) networks previously owned by Aster. Netia is offering customers within the coverage area broadband packages with speeds of up to 300Mbps, for up to PLN49.9 (USD15.8) per month, with substantial discounts available for users that also opt to take a TV service as part of their package. The former Aster network covers 314,000 homes in Warsaw and 106,000 in Krakow, although Netia’s offering will initially be made available to 175,000 and 40,000 homes respectively. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Netia took over the infrastructure in March 2013, following Aster’s acquisition by UPC Poland. Anti-trust authority the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) raised concerns that the takeover would restrict competition in the two cities, as much of the infrastructure overlapped. As such, the regulator instructed UPC to resell parts of the Aster network where services had been provided by both companies. In addition, in those buildings previously served by both operators, Aster customers must be given the option to choose an alternative provider without penalty. Netia was keen to stress this last point, noting that any former Aster subscribers could switch to Netia without penalty, regardless of any deal signed with UPC in the interim.
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