German telecoms regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has lowered the charges which incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT) can levy on competitors using its networks. The fee for unbundling a local loop (connecting a competitor’s customer to an existing copper pair) must not now exceed EUR36.19 (USD49.02), a fall of 16%. The termination fee has been capped at EUR5.21 if the customer switches back to DT or to another operator immediately, and EUR20.93 otherwise. The monthly fee for sharing a high bit rate line is now EUR1.91, 17% lower than previously. DT may charge a one-off fee of EUR60.82 for the service. Certain carrier fixed connection charges for leased lines have also been lowered and will apply until March 2008. The new fees are valid until June 2008. DT’s claims for higher fees were rejected. A spokesman for the VATM (German Competitive Carriers Association), which represents much of DT’s competition, said that the reductions were a step in the right direction, but that the BNetzA has acted too cautiously, pointing out that several of the new fees still exceed the European average by up to 50%.