Deutsche Telekom (DT) has submitted its first bitstream access charges for Federal Network Agency (FNA) approval. The move has come in response to a resolution passed by the FNA in August 2007, in which the regulator requested that DT offers bitstream access on top of its existing wholesale portfolio from April 2008. Bitstream access is often seen as a key step to a more competitive market as it allows providers without access networks of their own to sell broadband internet access. The telco’s proposed charges for IP Bitstream Access (IP-BSA) are EUR14.26 (USD21.83) for DSL access for end-customers and a data transport rate of 75kbps. DT claims this wholesale price is one of the lowest in Europe, and that the average price for a comparable service in France is EUR18.40, in Spain EUR26.49 and in the UK as much as EUR34.63.
In a separate but closely related announcement, DT has also applied for an unbundled IP-BSA charge of EUR24.76. This unbundled option, often referred to as ‘naked DSL’, allows alternative telcos to offer broadband services over high speed digital lines without requiring customers to have a phone subscription. The alternative telcos assume responsibility for the complete end customer line. The German giant claims this service is not available in many European countries such as the UK, Spain and Ireland, and that comparable services including 75kbps data transport in France cost over EUR25, while in Austria the wholesale service is available from EUR24.88.
Both sets of charges are now awaiting FNA approval. DT has called on the FNA to agree to the proposals, saying that IP-BSA charges ‘must not be allowed to disrupt the present equilibrium between infrastructure providers (subscriber and cable network operators, WiMAX providers) and competitors who do not have their own infrastructure, for example the internet service providers’.