The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in Germany has published its final version of Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) IP bitstream standard access offer, with amendments from the original submitted by the incumbent. The newly-worded offer sets forth the conditions and mutual obligations under which competitors may obtain IP bitstream access from the incumbent. Key elements are; offers for standalone bitstream and symmetrical access variants; improved fault-clearing conditions; a minimum quality guarantee (which enables VoIP provision), arrangements for ordering and gaining bitstream access; procedural matters between DT and competitors in cases where end-users may wish to change their DSL provider; and other customary contractual clauses regarding such matters as payment, liability and termination provisions.
Matthias Kurth, the president of BNetzA, said ‘With this decision we have set another, very important course for more competition on the broadband market. It is the outcome of a very comprehensive analysis of whether… the standard offer submitted by DT [met] the fairness, equity and timeliness requirements. This is why BNetzA had to change some of the arrangements in the standard offer…to ensure that the contract as a whole meets the legal requirements of the Telecoms Act and competitors can actually conclude bitstream access contracts with Deutsche Telekom on the basis of this standard contract without the need for time-consuming preliminary negotiations.’
DT may not modify the standard offer of its own accord until the end of April 2009.
The rates for the IP bitstream access will be decided separately and are expected to be published next month.