Open access for new networks
After Deutsche Telekom has expanded its VDSL network to cover more than 50 cities, fiber to the building (FTTB) and fiber to the home (FTTH) are next on the agenda. Municipal network operators in particular have also begun to expand their fiber-optic networks, which enable customers to enjoy even faster transmission speeds.
Expansion of the network takes place on a regional basis by a number of providers, and so a patchwork may emerge. This may mean that the local consumer no longer has any choice between different providers: there is a danger of regional monopolies. To prevent this, the sector must agree on voluntary and non-discriminatory, open access to the network. This will permit cost savings, and the spread of fiber optics can also pay for itself in more rural regions. The advantage is that the network operators do not have to expand everywhere themselves, but can share the use of other companies' infrastructure.
In concrete terms, the companies should offer one another reciprocal access to conduits and a bitstream access. There is largely agreement within the sector on the necessity for standardized interfaces and processes. However, clarification must still be reached on pricing. It is also an open question how common results are to lead to binding regulations.