EU warns Germany over broadband legislation

19 May 2006

Following the German cabinet’s decision on Wednesday to pass a new telecoms law (known locally as the TKG) that critics say would give Deutsche Telekom a monopoly over broadband connections, EU commissioner Vivane Reding has confirmed that she will open an ‘infringement procedure’ against the country. If passed by the Bundestag, the new legislation will exempt Deutsche Telekom’s planned EUR3 billion VDSL broadband network from price regulation. Moreover, competitors would not be given access rights for a number of years.

Deutsche Telekom has argued that it cannot invest in its new fibre-optic network without assurances that the investment will be ‘worthwhile’ for the company, hinting that if it is required to open access up to rivals it would pull the plug on the investment. The company plans to offer speeds of up to 50Mbps in 50 cities across the country. A spokesperson for DT was quoted by Reuters as saying that Reding’s interpretation of the German market was ‘screwy’.