German telecoms watchdog the Federal Network Agency (FNA) has withdrawn its draft decision on Vectoring technology and plans to submit a revised proposal to the European Commission (EC) next week, after Brussels opened an in-depth investigation into the plan. Last month the EC raised concerns about the potential impact that the proposal – which would allow incumbent Telekom Deutschland (TD) to upgrade its network with Vectoring in areas close to its exchanges – would have on the development of competition and on longer term incentives for investment in future-oriented networks. While recognising that the FNA’s proposal would lead to broadband speed gains in parts of Germany (of the six million households affected, roughly 1.4 million would receive download rates or above 50Mbps for the first time), the EC said it believed that the alternative access solutions for rivals offered by the FNA are not yet sufficient to ensure an appropriate safeguarding of competition. The German watchdog says its new proposal will give TD’s competitors access to Vectoring in more areas and improve the conditions for virtual access to the last mile, while it will also work with the EC on further developing the conditions for an alternative ‘Layer 2 Access Product’.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that last year TD unveiled plans to roll out VDSL Vectoring to an additional 5.9 million homes by 2018, increasing coverage to around 80% of households. Customers in the areas upgraded with VDSL Vectoring technology are able to access maximum speeds of 100Mbps and 40Mbps (download/upload).