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Requirements for telecom providers

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Netherlands, providers of public telecommunications networks or telecommunications services, such as landline or mobile telephony, internet access, email or internet telephony, must meet a number of continuity and safety requirements:

  • They must make wiretapping of their services or networks possible and keep a register of this.
  • They must observe privacy regulations.
  • They must ensure the permanent availability of the 112 emergency number.

Submitting client details

Judicial authorities and intelligence and security services may request information about one of your clients. You may also receive a request for the wiretapping of telephone communications for criminal investigations. This request is made by the public prosecutor or head of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD).

Duty of care and duty to report

As a public provider, you must ensure the continuity of your services. If there is any breakdown or failure within your organisation, you must report this to the Meldplicht Telecomwet OfficeExternal link (in Dutch). If a security incident involving personal data occurred, you must report this to the Dutch DPA's Data Leakage notification deskExternal link (in Dutch).

Net neutrality

Providers of public telecommunications networks or telecommunications services in the Netherlands may not delay or block competitive telephone or internet services and applications, such as Skype, Whatsapp or Viber. They are not allowed to charge extra money for these services and applications either. This is called net neutrality.

They may however use internet traffic management systems to ensure that their networks operate efficiently. This means for instance they can restrict or ration traffic on their networks or give priority to some types of traffic over others during peak periods or generally, as long as these measures are transparant, proportionally, non-discriminatory and not based on commercial interests.

Compensation for technical failure

If there is a technical failure in mobile and fixed internet and telephone services, you must compensate your customer. Compensation is mandatory when the failure lasts longer than 12 hours. Refunds may be linked to the monthly service contract costs.

You may choose how to compensate your customer. For example through providing extra credit or a refund of part of the subscription charges. Your customer must agree.

The compensation agreement must be written into your general conditions.

Dispute resolution

If you as a telecom provider think another telecom provider does not meet the legal requirements, you can ask the Authority for Consumers & MarketsExternal link (in Dutch) to decide on the issue. This is called dispute resolution (geschilbeslechting).

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO