Dutch consumer org reprimands KPN about fast internet targets

Wednesday 29 November 2017 | 12:13 CET | News

KPN has not kept its promise to provide at least 85 percent of Dutch households with very fast internet (at least 100 Mbps) by the end of 2016, Dutch consumer association Consumentenbond said, noting that KPN is now only at about 62 percent, also including fibre offerings. The Consumentenbond determined what speed is possible on the KPN (copper) DSL connection for 250,000 addresses and then used the measurements to estimate internet speeds throughout the Netherlands.

The study showed that while KPN has increased speeds for many addresses, many premises still only access low speeds. For about 30 percent of households, maximum speeds go to 24 Mbps. The number of addresses with very fast internet of at least 100 Mbps increased from 30 percent in May 2016 to 38 percent at the end of September 2017.

About 70 percent of the areas with slow internet (maximum 24 Mbps) are outside city or town centres. Rolling out networks outside built-up area is often more expensive. Sometimes consumers take matters into their own hands for faster internet and pay a considerable part of the construction themselves. If KPN does not provide fast internet (at least 30 Mbps) in an area, consumers can only, most often, get that service from Ziggo (via cable).

The Consumentenbond said the results show insufficient competition for high internet speeds and is calling for networks to remain open (copper) or to open  themselves up (cable) in order to create enough competition. An investigation by regulator Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) into the regulation of fixed networks (keeping copper open and possibly opening up cable) is now in the final phase. On the DSL network of KPN, other providers can offer services such as Tele2 Netherlands and Online.

KPN reacted to the study by saying it will invest more in the quality of its network and into faster internet for everyone, including those with the lowest speeds. The Consumentenbond said its survey showed that this does not work out in practice.

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