The consequences of the next stage in copper-based competion:
- KPN thinks it's so clever, forcing the competition out of the market. Only a player like KPN can afford to build a FTTC + VDSL network ('All-IP'). However, the plans could backfire: OPTA could go the separation route; OPTA could allow UPC to merge with @Home to form an MSO with near-national coverage (and create a duopoly US style); altnets could band together Australian style (the G9 consortium, proposing a FTTN network of its own).
- OPTA, the local NRA, together with all market participants, is studying a Full Alternative for LLU. Could it be SLU (FTTC + unbundling from the street cabinet)?
- Altnets have invested very little over the past two years or so. Coverage of their ADSL-networks has not expanded.
- Municipalities are cleverly moving in, building FTTH. There seems to be kind of an arms race between KPN (also buying up ISPs) trying to get involved and Reggefiber (the Dick Wessels company).
- Orange NL was put up for sale in February (rumours, but I had them sort of confirmed). Then in March, at the final 2006 results, it was denied. Now, at the Q1 results, France Telecom acknowledges all options are open. The same happened to Telecom Italia subsidiary bbned: for sale, and then all of a sudden it wasn't. This can only mean one thing: FT and TI want out, but they can't. And with market regulator NMa still studying the KPN takeover of Tiscali NL (report due May/June), KPN is no longer a buyer.
No potential buyers and LLU coming to an end - do I hear monopoly? Is duopoly the simplest answer to this? Or can altnets overcome their cultural differences and build a joint G9-style network?