Ruling Chamber 11
Ruling Chamber 11 is the national dispute settlement body for the German Digital Networks Act (DigiNetzG).
The Digital Networks Act implements the cost reduction Directive 2014/61/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 May 2014 on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (Official Journal of the European Union L155, page 1 et seqq.). The Digital Networks Act provides for the establishment of a national dispute settlement body, which has now been set up at the Bundesnetzagentur as a new ruling chamber 11.
The dispute settlement body carries out the dispute resolution process designated in section 77n of the German Telecommunications Act (TKG), this involves
- procedures for determining the shared use of public supply and telecommunications networks including the charges for shared use (section 77n(1) to (3) TKG),
- procedures on the transparency of passive network infrastructures including on-site surveys of their suitability (section 77n(4) TKG),
- procedures on the coordination of civil works with respect to the rollout of elements of the digital high-speed telecommunications networks and the shared use of infrastructure (section 77n(5) TKG), and
- procedures on the shared use of in-building network infrastructure including charges for the shared use (section 77n(6) TKG).
Those eligible to submit a request for dispute resolution are the owners or operators of public telecommunications networks and the owners or operators of public utility networks. The time period allowed for a dispute resolution procedure as per section 77n(1) TKG is four months from receipt of the complete request, for all other procedures the time period is two months. In extraordinary circumstances, an additional period of up to two months may be allowed for the procedure.
The dispute resolution procedure takes place as per section 132(2) TKG in ruling chamber proceedings. The ruling chamber, comprising one chair and two vice chairs, makes its decision in a quasi-judicial process. Pursuant to section 134a TKG, those taking part in the proceedings include the applicant and the defendant as well as interested parties whose interests will be affected by the decision and, as necessary, the competent railway supervisory authority. All those involved will be given an opportunity to state their case. In addition, pursuant to section 135(2) TKG, public oral proceedings are held and provide the basis on which the ruling chamber makes its decision. The decision is issued by way of administrative order and is then published with due account being taken of the confidentiality of the operating and business secrets of the parties concerned. This procedure is similar to the general dispute resolution procedures as per section 133 TKG, which deal with disputes between telecommunications companies in connection with the Telecommunications Act.
During on-going dispute resolution procedures, it is still possible for the parties to negotiate with each other and to reach an agreement outside the proceedings.
Date of modification: 2018.10.01