A draft decision issued Tuesday by Dutch telecom regulator OPTA would require cable operators in the Netherlands to open their networks on a wholesale basis to alternative providers that would resell video and other services offered by the cable companies. The directive, to be finalized by the end of this year, represents the culmination of OPTA’s effort to level the competitive playing field between dominant national telecom carrier KPN—which remains subject to various regulatory restrictions that impact the company’s provision of fixed line telephony—and cable operators that are adding voice and broadband Internet services to package deals that also include their mainstay video offerings. Sources also indicate that OPTA’s action responds to KPN’s long-standing complaint that it is required unfairly to open its network to competitive voice carriers while cable operators such as market leader Ziggo and UPC—which provide voice and data services to their customers—remain free from any such obligation. Concluding that digital TV offerings by KPN and by the nation’s satellite TV providers “do not put sufficient pressure on cable tariffs and have not led to more choice in the cable bouquet,” OPTA said it would “stimulate investment of third parties by allowing access to the networks of KPN and cable companies.” OPTA also confirmed that it would lift restrictions on KPN’s provision of telephony services for the consumer market. Welcoming the move, a KPN spokesman predicted that his company would enjoy greater flexibility to target different consumer segments and to compete with cable operators on a regional basis.