Clash of the titans

14 Dec 2007

The Financial Times Deutschland reports that two of Europe’s biggest telephone groups are set to go head-to-head when Telefonica of Spain files a complaint today with the German regulators Bundesnetzagentur (FNA) against Deutsche Telekom (DT), against the latter’s apparent reluctance to open up the so-called ‘last mile’ connection to rivals. ‘We’ll be asking for an inquiry into abuse of a dominant position,’ said Johannes Pruchnow, CEO of Telefonica Germany, adding that it now takes DT ‘months’ to switch on the last mile connection, whereas it used to take only ‘a few days’ for a customer to get a connection with a rival provider. The Spanish group said DT was not providing it with sufficient DSL connections via copper wires and DT’s own plans indicated that not enough would be released in 2008 either. DT denied the claim, saying it had already leased more lines to Telefonica than contractually required. Pruchnow did not deny this, but said, ‘We have a structural problem here.’

This is the second time in recent weeks that such charges have been levelled at the German incumbent. In late November rival wireline and broadband operator Arcor put in a complaint with the FNA regarding delays in opening the last mile. On that occasion the complaint was dismissed.

Germany, Deutsche Telekom (DT)