"The Netherlands is leading in connectivity, but if the government doesn't take measures to secure legal certainty for long-term investments, we run the risk of dropping behind," said Jeroen Hoencamp during a digitization debate with politicians and captains of industry, organized by VodafoneZiggo. The CEO of VodafoneZiggo expressed his concern about the tendency of the government and regulatory body ACM to impose stricter regulations on fixed networks. Hoencamp calls on the government to develop an unambiguous vision to support digitization actively and consistently.
Precisely because of
the competition between infrastructures with national coverage and the pressure
from mobile players, the Dutch networks rank among the best worldwide. Over 90%
of Dutch households have access to an internet connection offering more than
100 Mbps. That is unique in Europe. The lead generated by the Netherlands is
partly due to private investments in the Dutch infrastructure. VodafoneZiggo is
investing in next generation cable networks that will bring Gigabit speeds
within reach on a national level. This makes cable an important facilitator of
innovation like Internet of Things and Smart Cities.
Free up entire 3.5
Hoencamp also expresses his concern about the upcoming frequency auction. In his view, a number of preconditions need to be changed. Like the 3.5 GHz band – now exclusively used by the MoD and the intelligence services – that should be made entirely available for 5G. Hoencamp also thinks that licences should have an extended validity, enabling market parties to make the corresponding investments. The auction should be aimed at accelerating the availability of 5G in the entire Netherlands. It must be avoided that market parties feel forced to invest primarily in densely populated and urban areas.
Higher level of ambition needed in the Netherlands
Digitization has a big impact on our lives and increasingly so. To meet the exponential growth in data, huge network investments are needed for network capacity with Gigabit bandwidth. If we want the Netherlands to stay in the lead and play a part in the global digital landscape, the level of ambition must increase, stresses Hoencamp. It is imperative that market parties and the government cooperate in this. According to the CEO of VodafoneZiggo everything starts with advancing a clear ambition. Followed by determining the preconditions necessary to promote innovation. A national digitization summit under the leadership of prime minister Rutte could contribute to this end.