Thursday, January 03, 2008

Belgium - broadband

Telecoms: Commission supports new efforts of the Belgian telecoms regulator to enhance competition in the broadband market and asks for speedy and effective action

The Commission has today recognised the recent efforts made by the Belgian telecoms regulator, IBPT (Institut Belge des services postaux et des télécommunications) to enhance broadband competition in the Belgian market by making the regulation more effective. In a letter sent today, the Commission asks IBPT to reinforce the provisions allowing new entrants to use the local network of the historical incumbent operator to provide broadband services to end users (local loop unbundling) with a view to promoting sustainable infrastructure-based competition. The Commission also asks the Belgian telecoms regulator to closely examine the level of competition for broadband services in the end-user market.

“I welcome this long awaited proposal by the Belgian regulator to enhance broadband competition in the Belgian market. Access to very high speed broadband infrastructure (VDSL), which is explicitly foreseen by the Belgian regulator, will help to guarantee a level playing field, promote competition and investment and enhance freedom of choice for users", said Viviane Reding, the EU's Telecoms Commissioner. "For the time being, Belgian consumers continue to pay rather high prices for broadband services. Effective and speedy enforcement of existing regulatory measures is crucial for more competition and better services at lower prices in the market. The Belgian regulator has my full support in moving swiftly and with ambition to more competition on the Belgian broadband market."

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