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Germany: Deutsche Telekom told to give rivals access to upgraded network

 |  July 20, 2016

Brussels has given a partial go-ahead to Deutsche Telekom’s plan to upgrade its German broadband network as long as the telecoms company takes steps not to limit competition.

The European Commission has demanded that German regulators secure a series of concessions from Deutsche Telekom before the process can go ahead in a bid to allay concerns raised by rivals including Vodafone.

Deutsche Telekom wants to use a new process called “vectoring” to speed up its older and slower copper-wire networks to reach speeds of up to 100mb per second. But the procedure of tightly bundling wires together also makes it impossible for rival providers to gain access to the network.

Vodafone and others have fought the plan, arguing that it would stifle competition as a result and push up prices for consumers. The London-based company, which has a large, high-speed cable business in Germany, said the move was “fundamentally incompatible” with the EU’s rules.

German regulator BNetzA had proposed requiring Deutsche Telekom to give access to one alternative operator per local area. But Brussels wants the German group to guarantee access to its network for an unlimited number of competitors, giving consumers the ability to choose from a range of providers.

Full Content: Financial Times

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