German telecoms operator Deutsche Telekom (DT) has filed an application with telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA) for a monthly charge of EUR12.37 (USD16.5) for the provision of unbundled local loop (ULL) lines. The Bonn-based telco argues that an increase from the current rate of EUR10.08 (which is set to expire on 30 June 2013) is required to offset higher costs and general price increases. ‘The FNA should take this opportunity to establish investment-friendly regulation,’ said Niek Jan van Damme, head of DT’s business activities in Germany, adding: ‘If you are investing enormous amounts of money in broadband networks, you need to be sure that your infrastructure isn’t going to be devalued further.’ DT’s application for an increase in the ULL fee comes after European Commissioner Neelie Kroes last summer agreed to more investment-friendly regulation and announced stable prices in the long term for the last mile, which would also take into account factors such as the general increase in prices. ‘We are taking Neelie Kroes at her word and expect specific incentives for us to invest billions of euros,’ van Damme said. For the first time, the approval period is three years with an option to extend for a further three years (until 31 December 2019).
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the FNA has steadily reduced the monthly local loop rental fee, while DT has consistently applied for higher charges in view of its cost statements. In April 2005 the ULL charge fell by nearly 10% to EUR10.64, before dropping to EUR10.50 in April 2007 and EUR10.20 two years after that. It was reduced to the current rate of EUR10.08 in April 2011, at which date the regulator also cut the fee for LLU access to the street cabinet from EUR7.21 to EUR7.17; DT has applied for this charge to increase to EUR8.80 per month from April 2013.