A network given away for free?
The view is often expressed that Telekom built its network with taxpayers' money during the time it had a monopoly. The opposite is true.
It was not the state which paid money to the telecommunications provider, but the predecessors of Telekom which paid billions to the German state. In addition, the provider had to finance the expansion of the network using its income.
In the years 1990 to 1994 alone, Deutsche Bundespost TELEKOM contributed the equivalent of around EUR 12 billion to the state. 1995 was the last year when the company made such a payment: approximately EUR 1.6 billion.
During the privatization in 1995, the company did take over property, plant and equipment (including the network infrastructure) worth EUR 69.1 billion. On the other side, it had to take on liabilities to the tune of roughly EUR 70 billion.
Since 1999 alone, Telekom has invested more than EUR 10 billion in modern broadband infrastructure - and all this in a completely liberalized market, in which every company can choose to invest in infrastructure as well.