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April 5, 2007
The German communications regulator has ruled that Deutsche Telekom must allow rival operators access to its next generation network infrastructure.
This week, Bundesnetzagentur, said that rival companies would be able to use Telekom’s new cabling ducts to lay fibre for their own customers.
Deutsche Telekom had been fighting to protect the rollout of its Eur3bn super fast VDSL network, even calling for it to be exempt from competition for three years.
But now the European Commission is taking Germany to court over the operator’s regulatory holiday and this week’s decision comes as yet another blow.
Essentially, DT is being subjected to infrastructure rather than service-based competition.
Ovum analyst, Matthew Howett, notes that elsewhere in Europe the idea of using the incumbent’s infrastructure is a current hot topic at a time when regulation of NGN access is being decided.
“As a result of DT’s and the government’s reluctance to allow competitors access to VDSL, infrastructure competition may well be an appropriate solution for the German case. Certainly at an EU level more tailored remedies are encouraged. That said, DT may be reluctant to see competitors come along and dig around their cables and the very prospect may be enough for them to finally throw in the towel, admit defeat to Reding and offer a bitstream product,” Howett said.
Deutsche Telkom also fell foul of the regulator at the end of last month. The operator had applied for an increase in the price of local loop access from Eur10.65 to Eur12.03 but instead, the authority reduced the charge by Eur0.15.
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