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The Bun­desnet­za­gen­tur's du­ties

The Bundesnetzagentur's core task is to ensure compliance with the Telecommunications Act (TKG), Postal Act (PostG) and Energy Act (EnWG) and their respective ordinances. In this way, it guarantees the liberalisation and deregulation of the markets for telecommunications, post and energy via non-discriminatory network access and efficient system charges. As of 1 January 2006, the Bundesnetzagentur also assumed responsibility for rail regulation. Here, as in the other regulatory areas, it monitors non-discriminatory access to the networks under transparent circumstances, and examines the access charges.

To achieve its regulatory aims, the Bundesnetzagentur has effective procedures and instruments at its disposal, including rights of information and investigation along with the power to impose graded sanctions.

  • The Bundesnetzagentur's decisions in the fields of electricity, gas, telecommunications and post are made by its Ruling Chambers
  • The companies directly concerned may participate in the Ruling Chamber proceedings
  • The business circles affected by the proceedings may be invited to attend
  • The Bundesnetzagentur's decisions are based on the Telecommunications Act, the Postal Act and the Energy Act and can be challenged before court
  • In the case of a legal dispute, the supervisory authority, namely the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), cannot overturn a decision made by the Ruling Chamber.  In contrast to the provisions of the Competition Act (GWB) a so-called ministerial decision is not provided for.
  • Chamber rulings on telecommunications and postal matters may be challenged directly before the administrative courts, and before the civil courts where energy matters are concerned. There is no appeal procedure. Actions in principal proceedings do not have suspensory effect

The Bundesnetzagentur's regional offices keep it in touch with consumers and industry throughout the country. They are a local point of contact for citizens' and companies' specialist telecommunications questions in particular.

Areas of responsibility

Telecommunications and Post

In the area of telecommunications and post, the Bundesnetzagentur ensures

  • fair and workable competition across Germany
  • provision of basic telecommunications and postal services (universal services) at affordable prices throughout the country
  • promotion of telecommunications services in public institutions
  • efficient and interference-free use of frequencies, also taking into account broadcasting interests, and
  • protection of public safety interests.

In addition to regulation, the Bundesnetzagentur has a variety of other duties regarding the telecommunications and postal markets; it

  • issues postal licences
  • contributes to solutions for standardisation issues
  • administers frequencies and phone numbers
  • resolves radio interference
  • combats telephone number misuse
  • monitors the market, and
  • advises citizens on new regulations and the implications of these.

Energy

In the area of energy, the Bundesnetzagentur ensures

  • the most secure, low-priced, consumer-friendly, efficient, and environmentally sustainable supply of electricity and gas possible for the general public
  • effective and genuine competition in the supply of electricity and gas, and efficient and reliable operation of energy supply systems for the long term
  • implementation and execution of Community law on energy supply, and
  • efficient approval proceedings to adapt the German extra-high voltage network to the growing use of renewable energy sources.

Railway

In the area of rail regulation, it is the responsibility of the Bundesnetzagentur to

  • examine network and service facilities statements,
  • review the amount and structure of charges for the use of infrastructure and associated services and
  • ensure non-discriminatory access to rail infrastructure (allocation proceedings and results) and associated services.