Referring to the launch of the public consultation on the updated TV and broadband market analysis, Orange Belgium welcomes the intention expressed by the regulators to strengthen the competition on the fixed markets. Orange Belgium now calls upon the regulators to further develop and improve the draft decision as soon as possible in the interest of the consumers.
Since many years, the Belgian customers had been suffering from a lack of competition in the internet & TV market, associated with high retail tariffs with regular price increases. Orange’s internet and TV (“Love”) offer, launched last year, has marked a step change in the market dynamic by offering consumers a qualitative alternative at an attractive price. One year after launch, more than 50 000 customers trusts Orange for their Internet & TV. For that purpose, Orange spent more than 60M€ (excluding indirect costs) and created more than 200 (direct and indirect) jobs. Orange keeps improving its Love proposition regularly, with new content and features. Orange’s internet & TV is only available in combination with a mobile subscription as today’s wholesale tariffs don’t allow to offer an economically sustainable standalone fixed offer.
Orange Belgium calls upon the regulators to move the market analysis forward with a clear focus on improving as fast as possible the cable access financial and operational conditions to allow the Belgian customers to benefit from a sustainable and effective competition on the Internet & TV market.
The proposed strengthening of the non-discrimination obligations will definitely contribute to an improvement of alternative operators’ ability to compete.
With respect to the wholesale charges, the current retail-minus methodology has proven to be ineffective and non-sustainable. The wholesale prices must be based as fast as possible on a cost-plus methodology as used in other markets.By design, a cost-plus method provides infrastructure operators with the necessaryreturns on investment, while it also allows predictable and competitive conditions for alternative operators.
Considering first analysis and international benchmarks, Orange Belgium considers that the wholesale cost charged by the cable operators should decrease by an amount of up to 10 € per customer per month.
Orange Belgium also welcomes that BIPT consultation raises the question of the framework for the fiber networks (FttH) roll out in Belgium. Even if these deployments will not be able to materially change the market in the short term, Orange Belgium considers that fair co-investment models allow to deploy fiber networks wider and quicker to the benefit of Belgian economy in the long term, as it has been the case in other countries, and is willing to consider them, subject to acceptable financial and operational conditions.
Orange Belgium will now carry out an in-depth analysis of the consultation files.