Rights of Way and Licences
Use of public ways
Any undertaking planning to install telecommunications lines (cables and other necessary equipment) requires prior consent from the authority responsible for the construction and maintenance of public ways (usually the town or local authority). The granting of consent is facilitated by the transfer of rights of way from the Federation to an undertaking. An application for the transfer of rights of way can be made to the Bundesnetzagentur.
Section 68(1) of the Telecommunications Act (TKG) gives the Federation the right to use trafficways free of charge for telecommunications lines serving public purposes, provided that their dedication as trafficways is not thereby restricted on a lasting basis (right of use). Trafficways include public ways, squares, bridges and public waters.
This right of use does not replace the written consent of the authorities responsible for the construction and maintenance of public ways as required for individual construction measures (section 68(3) sentence 1 of the Act).
Transfer of rights of way upon application
Upon written application, the Federation transfers its rights of use according to section 68(1) of the Telecommunications Act through the Bundesnetzagentur, as provided for by section 69(1) of the Act, to public telecommunications network owners or operators.
The requirements for telecommunications networks are defined in section 3 para 27 of the Act.
Requirements for applications for the transfer of rights of way as provided for by section 69(1) of the Telecommunications Act:
Antragsverfahren Wegerecht (pdf / 20 KB) - Rights of way application procedure (GERMAN)
Rights of way are highly personal rights which can be transferred to an undertaking only after verification that the applicant possesses the required reliability, efficiency and specialised knowledge. Such rights of use can therefore only be used by the holders themselves and may not be given or transferred to another undertaking nor passed on to another undertaking by legal succession.
Rights of way ensuing from old telecommunications licences
The licensing requirement (section 6(1) para 1 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act) ceased to apply on 25 July 2003 as a result of the direct effect of Article 3(2) of the Authorisation Directive (Directive 2002/20/EC). Any rights of way granted through the issue of a telecommunications licence (Class 1, 2 or 3) are protected and continue to apply, provided that the holder has not changed since the entry into force of the 2004 Telecommunications Act (section 150(3) of the new Act). The rights of way apply to the licensed areas only.
Obligations of authorities in relation to holders of rights of way
The authorities responsible for the construction and maintenance of public ways are required to tolerate the use of trafficways by holders of rights of use according to section 68(1) of the Telecommunications Act and hence also to give their consent as referred to in section 68(3) of the Act.
Information for authorities
The Bundesnetzagentur provides information on the holders of rights of way – in particular the beginning and end of use, changes in name, changes of address and changes in the legal form of undertakings not affecting their identity – to the authorities responsible for the construction and maintenance of public ways. This information is available online.
List of holders of rights of way
The following list contains details of the holders of rights of way and the areas for which rights of use have been granted.
Liste der Wegerechtsinhaber (Stand 16.11.22) (pdf / 569 KB) - List of holders of rights of way (GERMAN)