Following an announcement on 10 May 2004, the Dutch regulatory authority OPTA has now published its ruling in the dispute between, on the one hand, new entrant xDSL operators BBNed, Tiscali and Versatel, and, on the other hand KPN (the fixed incumbent operator) on so-called 'telco-to-telco migrations' in the context of local loop unbundling (full unbundling and shared access to the local loop).

OPTA has decided that KPN should effectuate migrations (in actual fact transfers) of unbundled local loops from one operator to another quasi-immediately, so as to reduce the waiting time for end-users wishing to change broadband ISPs, which historically lasted several weeks, and induced significant service interruptions for end-users.

OPTA has ruled that migrations should be executed in a much quicker time frame (but did not specify the time frame), if a number of rules are respected, particular:

a. Any party requesting a telco-to-telco migration must have a written order from the end-user.

b. A certain type of forecasting will be applicable to telco-to-telco migration SLA’s and orders.

c. An existing migration procedure (intra-oparator SIP-stift) will also be used for telco-to-telco migrations, with a few adaptations regarding order confirmation and billing.

d. KPN must introduce an MDF Information Product in order for service providers to be able to check the service ID’s of unbundled loops in use by other service providers.

e. KPN must carry out telco-to-telco migration orders as described in the ruling, and must inform any party requesting a telco-to-telco migration in writing of the fact that the company will comply with the ruling. KPN must send a copy of such letters to OPTA.

f. When KPN sends a written confirmation to a party requesting a telco-to-telco migration, be it a confirmation of a migration request or a confirmation that the KPN telco-to-telco migration order is ready, the requesting party must send a copy to the party from where the line will be migrated within 24 hours.

g. KPN must apply cost-oriented charges for a telco-to-telco migration. Until KPN has prepared a proposal for such charges (this has to occur within six weeks of the enactment of the ruling), OPTA imposes interim charges of 36,51 Euro (excl. VAT) for an xTL (fully unbundled) telco-to-telco migration, and 43,16 Euro for an ASL (line sharing) telco-to-telco migration. (The difference will be settled later).

The full text (in Dutch) of the OPTA ruling can be accessed by clicking here.

For further information on this ruling please contact Alexa Veller