Possible million fine for Telfort

Telfort may have a hefty fine over the head. The Radiocommunications Agency (AT) has sent a decision to the telecom company. According to the agency, Telfort still does not meet the permit conditions for the use of the Umts frequency space. If Telfort is in default, the company may wait a million fine

Telfort may have a hefty fine over the head. The Radiocommunications Agency (AT) has sent a decision to the telecom company. According to the agency, Telfort still does not meet the permit conditions for the use of the Umts frequency space.

If Telfort is in default, the company may wait a million fine. If the telecom company does not meet the roll-out requirement very quickly, a fine of 5 million euros is imposed every quarter. This amount can increase to 40 million euros in 2 years.

Dutch telecom operators with a license for the use of frequency space for Umts are obliged to provide coverage in a large part of the Netherlands and to comply with a minimum service level.

Telfort uses the frequency of KPN. With the acquisition of Telfort by KPN in 2005, Telfort does offer mobile internet via Umts, but uses KPN's frequency band for this purpose. The AT requires each company to use their own frequency to comply with the established rules.

The agency gave Telfort 6 weeks to respond. "They have explained their views, but this has not changed anything for us", the AT spokesman explains.

At the moment, the frequency space of Telfort is unused on the shelf. "That is not in favor of the market, they have had years to roll it out, " said the AT spokesman. Telfort can file a protest with the court in Rotterdam. "This does not change the term unless the court says so, but we do not expect that." It seems to be the first phase of a legal-semantic discussion that may lead to a series of lawsuits.

It is possible that Telfort will give back the license for the frequency room. According to AT there are enough candidates who would like to buy it. "That is also the best for the market." Another option is that Telfort still complies with the rollout obligation in the short term. Whether this is feasible in the stated time is still the question.

A press officer at KPN said earlier that the agency sees Telfort and KPN as two separate companies. The telecom company does intend to use the frequency space of Telfort, but only when the space of KPN is full.