To start with the sweet stuff in the back of the document. In the annex you can find the prices for the Optical Distribution Frame service of Reggefiber as the passive operator of the FTTH-network. The offer is for a wholesale service. The annex is written as the contract that operators of the active services on the network will have to sign. All costs are excluding VAT (19%) and applicable discounts.
The monthly fees are:
This sounds like a good teaser for KPN as it will give them discounts in their retail side when they bring customers over from the DSL offers to the new environment. There are some connection, disconnection fees, Pop-fees etc. Most are one-off, some monthly. Energy is outside the scope. In the accompanying letter OPTA says it agrees with the Reggefiber's pricing. It will formally say so on December 19th and explain its reasoning after which it will notify Brussels and give you time to voice your objections. The Dutch Competition Authority NMA will start this week on a market test.
The main bit of the letter however is the market consultation of the proposed policy rules for price regulation for unbundled access to fiber optic networks. You have until December 8th to have an opinion. This bit is full of legalese. So I'll try to condense it. Everything is done in conjuction with the Proposed decision for the unbundled access to the wholesale level of November 5th. In this proposed decision KPN is designated as a party with Significant Market Power.
OPTA nicely adheres to the stated goals of infrastructure competition. On paper it looks good, but realistically we won't see a second, third and fifth party rolling out a ftth network under these conditions. The Netherlands is stuck with Cable vs KPN forever and wireless will play a minor role too.
Opta will regulate the offer done by Reggefiber and KPN as it would with a copper network. So there are protections against price squeeze, discriminator pricing and excessive prices. Nothing on delaying tactics, which is a bit of a pity as I would think that KPN's All-IP plans have already sown Fear Uncertainty and Doubt in the investors community and this plan just ups the ante.
The regulation will be by creating a ceiling for he prices Reggefiber can ask for its wholesale offer. The calculation of the price is done by using a variable All-Risk Weighted Average Cost of Capital. The WACC consists of the standard WACC for the copper network, with on top of it:
- an extra fiber WACC as fiber is a risky investment by itself. This one is thought to be variable and decreasing over time as the investors know better what they got themselves into.
- a regulatory risk WACC, which is stable as regulators are notoriously unstable and investors want to be compensated.
If the internal rate of revenue goes over the WACC than Opta will either lower the ceiling or Reggefiber will need to quikckly invest more into less profitable regions. OPTA will evaluate the ceilings every three years based on the entire business case. Nice thing is that the Reggefiber is allowed to increase prices in accordance with the official Dutch inflation numbers. (Now how does that work in a time of deflation). Unfortunately there are no numbers on the height of the WACC etc yet.
Opta does promiss to be vigilant and guard that Reggefiber won't make excessive profits by misrepresenting potential penetration rates, Capex per region etc etc.