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DT not obliged to grant access to VDSL dark fibre, court rules

29 Jan 2010

Germany’s highest administrative court, the Leipzig-based Bundesverwaltungsgericht, has ruled that incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) is not obliged to grant competitors access to dark fibre on its VDSL network, Dow Jones reports. However, the court said that DT must still allow its competitors access to its street cabinets and empty pipes, as the German network regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), ordered in December 2009. As reported by CommsUpdate, the FNA unveiled that month the conditions under which DT must provide competitors access to its VDSL network, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled a week earlier that the agency must no longer grant DT a ‘regulatory holiday’ regarding its fibre-optic infrastructure. UK-based company Vodafone had also filed a complaint to the regulator following the failure of talks between its German unit and DT to negotiate access to the latter’s VDSL network. Prior to the introduction of the relevant regulation, the Bonn-based company had successfully argued that the scale of its investment, and the fact that it constituted a new market, meant that the fibre-optic network should be exempt from competition.

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