AP2000

Flemish government rules out 3rd superfast cable internet provider

Economy minister Philippe Muyters has struck a deal with cable internet providers Proximus and Telenet that means no third provider of cable internet will be allowed onto the market in Flanders. 

Last October Mr Muyters warned the existing operators that the capacity of their network should be increased, that the network should be opened to other players and that users deserved fair prices.  Following talks Proximus and Telenet agreed to back the minister's proposals, but a third operator is being ruled out.  The Flemish government agreed to create the conditions to allow this to happen.

Philippe Muyters: "I'm pleased we can unite with the private sector to create a digital ecosystem in which families and businesses can be offered innovation."

It is understood that Telenet will have to lower its rates to allow rival Orange access to its cable network. In this way rivals will be given a chance.  The agreement does nothing to counter the plans of the federal digitalisation minister Alexander De Croo to open up the mobile market to a fourth player.  An auction that should make room for the new player is expected next year.  Mr De Croo hopes competition will put pressure on prices to the benefit of the consumer.