Saturday, July 02, 2005

Dutch snippets of the week

Dutch flag

It was a stormy week, just before the holidays. It looked like everyone wanted to get his/her homework done and move to France. Well no holidays for me, I will keep working through the summer and you will not have to miss my daily blog. Here are the snippets of the past week.

Talpa TV presents itself

The new TV station Talpa of John de Mol presented itself on Monday. The press conference was live on internet and drew without real publicity 35.000 viewers. The present name of the station, Talpa (in Spanish: mole) was not the preferred name. Talpa should have been named Ten, but this name is claimed by its competitor SBS. But the company’s logo exists now of a 10 key telephone pad. The TV station will be the first full digital station and cross media provider, broadcasting on TV, satellite and internet. In content the station promises more of the same (Big Brother, Expedition Robinson). Having bought out all star presenters of the commercial and public networks, the faces will be familiar as well. I will come back on this subject next week.

Public broadcast to be reorganised

The public broadcast system will be reorganised over the next three years. That is what the secretary of State Medy van de Laan announced this week. The public broadcast organisation will receive 50 per cent of what they receive now, but will be allowed to have commercial revenues. And the TV station NPS, a public broadcast organisation without members – an anomaly in the Dutch system -, will be disbanded. NPS is the TV station with quality programs. This decision solicits a lot of protests. I will come back on this subject next week.

Telfort bought by KPN

The Dutch mobile company Telfort has been bought by KPN. The incumbent now has more than 50 per cent of the mobile market. The brand Telfort will be continued. Telfort was in 2003 spun out of O2 for 25 million euro, then sold to an investor for 350 million euro just one year later. Now it has been sold to KPN for 980 million euro plus a potential bonus of 140 million. It is unbelievable this amount of money for a company which is the cheapest company in the market. I guess that this will change over the years. (So I will have to look for another mobile operator, I guess).

KPN monopoly fixed line abolished

It is Friday morning and the first news item on the radio is KPN monopoly fixed line abolished, says the telecom watchdog OPTA. At last, I sighed. Since the telecom liberation has been started up in The Netherlands the government has been protecting KPN. Some ministers were overtly sympathetic for the incumbent telecom operator. But now one of the last bastions of monopoly will be destructed. It will mean that new telecom operators can offer subscriptions to the fixed line network and that people will not receive two invoices: one of KPN and one of their operators.

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