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FAQs on the unbundled local loop (ULL)

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What is the ULL?
The abbreviation ULL stands for "Unbundled Local Loop". It is a copper line in the fixed network which leads from the local exchange, via the gray boxes on the street corner - the cable distributors (CD) - to the telephone sockets in our homes. This section of the fixed network is also referred to as the "last mile".

Who do the unbundled local loops belong to?
The ULLs in Germany are largely owned by Telekom. Deutsche Telekom is obliged to make its infrastructure available to competitors. Various wholesale products exist for this, the most important being the ULL. Conversely, however, alternative providers do not have to make their infrastructure available to others - even if they supply the building exclusively.

How important is the ULL?
The unbundled local loop is the most important wholesale product. Telekom currently has around 9.5 million leased ULLs. In addition, the ULL is included in a large number of other wholesale products.

If other providers use Telekom's ULL, who determines the rental price?
Telekom is not allowed to determine the price for leasing its infrastructure itself. Instead, this is subject to regulation by the federal government. Based on Telekom's cost statements, it makes an application to the Federal Network Agency, which then specifies the ULL charge.

Who is responsible for the technical maintenance of the ULL?
Telekom's service technicians play an active role in every relocation or change in provider in order to connect the customer's line to Telekom’s network or to the network of the relevant provider. They are also responsible for technical maintenance and repairs in the event of incidents.

What is the difference between a ULL and a ULL CD?
A ULL CD is part of the unbundled local loop. It is the section which leads from the cable distributor (CD) to the customer's line in their home. Charges of varying amounts apply when leasing ULLs and ULL CDs. Since the ULL CD is shorter, it is also cheaper than the normal ULL. However, it requires the competitor to extend its network up to the cable distributor and not just up to the main distribution frame. The ULL CDs, with around 140,000 leased lines compared to the regular ULLs (9.5 million), do not play an important part on the market.

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