In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Matthias Kurth, president of the country’s network regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA), has warned Germany’s telecoms operators against the formation of cartels in expanding broadband services nationwide. Although in favour of cooperation between companies to help meet the goals outlined in the federal government’s broadband initiaitive, Kurth added that the FNA is in regular contact with the country’s anti-trust agency, the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), to ensure no obstacles to effective competition emerge.
The government’s broadband programme, announced in February 2009, calls for the availability of nationwide internet with download speeds of at least 1Mbps by 2010, and coverage of 50Mbps broadband to reach 75% of German households by 2014. So far, the country’s incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) and fixed line and mobile operator Vodafone are the only two companies to reach an agreement to work together on the provision of broadband internet to rural areas. The duo have launched a pilot project to jointly roll out a fibre-optic cable network in Wurzburg and Heilbronn.