DT must grant competitors access to ducts

25 Jan 2008

A Cologne court has rejected major parts of a request by incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) for the suspension of a Federal Network Agency (FNA) order of June 2007 obliging DT to grant competitors access to the local loop. The FNA’s regulatory order required DT, under its obligation to grant access to the last mile, to provide not only access to its ducts but, in cases in which duct capacities are not available, to its dark fibre as well. In addition, the order made clear that DT must also offer its competitors access to the local loop in street cabinets, meaning that rival operators can build their own high speed networks, just as DT is doing with its VDSL infrastructure. By filing an application for temporary relief from enforcement of the regulatory order, DT hoped it would not be required to open its ducts to competitors for the time being. The Cologne administrative court concluded, however, that the access obligations could remain effective. Only with regard to a minor point – the requirement for DT to disclose information on the ways of gaining access to its cable ducts or dark fibre – has the court suspended the enforceability of the regulatory order. The court has thus largely confirmed the FNA’s decision of last summer. ‘I appreciate the decision and hope that the talks between Deutsche Telekom and interested competitors about the use of ducts will soon reach a successful outcome. The opportunity to promote further investment in developing optical fibre loops should not be passed up,’ said FNA’s president, Matthias Kurth.

Germany, Deutsche Telekom (DT)