EC suspends FTR plans for alternative operators

24 Jun 2013

The European Commission (EC) has announced it has suspended a proposal by Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA, also known as BNetzA), to set fixed termination rates (FTRs) for the country’s alternative operators. According to the EC, the termination rates proposed by Germany are three times higher than the average of countries which follow the recommended approach set out in European Union (EU) telecom rules. Under the FNA’s proposal, the FTRs that German alternative operators would be allowed to charge range from EUR0.0036 (USD0.0047) per minute (peak) to EUR0.0025 per minute (off-peak), which correspond to the FTRs that the FNA proposed for incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT) earlier this year. DT’s termination rates were also suspended by the EC in March, as they did not reflect the price of the provision of an efficient termination service; the FNA, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the EC are currently discussing the way forward with respect to FTRs for DT. European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes stated: ‘It is important for building up a real single market that both operators and consumers face termination rates in Germany that are in line with those in other EU Member States.’

Following the ‘serious doubts’ letter sent by the EC last week, the FNA has three months to work with the Commission and BEREC on a solution to this case; in the meantime, implementation of the proposal is suspended.