Regulator wants Telekom to ease terms for rivals

27th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 April 2006, BONN, GERMANY - German utilities regulator Bundesnetzagentur published for comment Wednesday a draft directive that would force Deutsche Telekom to rent out its DSL connections to business rivals on more flexible terms.

27 April 2006

BONN, GERMANY - German utilities regulator Bundesnetzagentur published for comment Wednesday a draft directive that would force Deutsche Telekom to rent out its DSL connections to business rivals on more flexible terms.

Telekom, the former German monopoly, provides the lion's share of German internet connections. Most new business in Germany utilizes the DSL standard, with signals shunted along the same two copper wires as household phone calls.

Telekom is already being forced to lease the wires outright to independent telecoms companies, but leasing them for only the DSL part of an overall telecommunications service is not regulated.

In Bonn the Bundesnetzagentur called for comment in the next four weeks on the draft document on "bit-stream access".

Telekom currently allows independent resellers including Freenet and United to retail that service at a slight discount.

The directive would allow the resellers of Telekom's DSL services to offer varying terms to retail customers and force Telekom to obtain regulatory approval for its own DSL price list.

A spokesman for Telekom's T-Com division described the proposed ruling as unconvincing and said free competition had provided adequate market opening. The Bundesnetzagentur closely monitors other parts of Telekom's operations.

The DSL business has expanded fast in Germany, growing in the space of last year from 3.6 million to 10.4 million customers.

Germans can obtain a flat-rate 2 megabit per second connection bundled with phone service for 40 euros monthly, little more than the price of traditional phone service by itself. Competition is increasing as cable TV companies start to offer internet access too.

DPA

Subject: German news

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