Shared use of copper lines of an in-building network infrastructure

The Bundesnetzagentur has issued a decision on the shared use of in-building copper lines.

Year of issue 2021
Date of issue 2021.06.08

"This decision reinforces the freedom of choice for affected end customers, who can choose between a faster fibre connection and keeping a standard DSL product," said Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur President. "At the same time, we are sending a signal by securing the future use of fibre-optic cables."

Settlement of dispute with residential property company

The Bundesnetzagentur arbitrated in a dispute between Telekom Deutschland GmbH and residential property company SAGA Siedlungs-Aktiengesellschaft Hamburg. At issue was the use of active indoor copper cabling in residential buildings. Telekom supplies end customers with broadband DSL products via its indoor copper cabling. The ownership of the indoor cabling is disputed and the subject of ongoing civil court cases over payments demanded for its use by the company.

Telekom asked the residential property company for permission to share use of its indoor copper cables at no charge. It refused, offering instead the option of paying for use of newly installed fibre lines in the buildings. At the end of January 2021, Telekom requested the Bundesnetzagentur carry out a dispute settlement procedure as envisaged by law.

The Bundesnetzagentur's decision permits Telekom to keep using the indoor copper cables. In return, it has to pay the additional costs incurred. To ensure the future use of more modern fibre cables, the shared use of the copper lines will come to an end when Telekom no longer suppliers any users with them; this also includes wholesale products for Telekom competitors. The Bundesnetzagentur does not see any legal basis for the housing company's right to limit Telekom's shared use to fibre cabling, however.

National dispute settlement body

The Bundesnetzagentur acts as the national dispute settlement body and single information point under the Act to facilitate the deployment of high-speed digital networks (DigiNetzG). The aim of the dispute settlement body is to clear up disputes quickly and issue binding decisions, while the single information point informs network operators about available network infrastructure. More information may be found at www.bundesnetzagentur.de/bk11.

Press release (pdf / 305 KB)