Interim report from the monitoring unit for duplicate fibre infrastructure

Year of issue 2024
Date of issue 2024.04.11

The Bundesnetzagentur has today published an interim report from the unit responsible for monitoring duplicate fibre infrastructure projects, which the Bundesnetzagentur and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) established in July 2023.

Klaus Müller, President of the Bundesnetzagentur: "The interim report is the first comprehensive review of actual cases of duplicate infrastructure. It reveals two particular things. Firstly, duplicate infrastructure projects generally exist across the whole market and in various competitive constellations. Secondly, the results indicate the basic relevance of the market position held by the undertaking duplicating the infrastructure. It is, however, not yet possible to make a reliable competitive assessment on the basis of the cases reported to the monitoring unit. A large amount of information is still needed. The next steps in the process will give all players the opportunity to create maximum transparency."

Results of the interim report

The analysis in the interim report is based on 427 cases reported to the monitoring unit up to 1 March 2024. The cases cover duplicate infrastructure that has already been deployed and projects that have so far only been announced.

The review focuses on producing an overall picture from all the cases. One key element is the analysis of different competitive constellations.

In terms of pure numbers, there is a balance between the cases in which Deutsche Telekom and the cases in which one of its competitors was reported to be duplicating infrastructure. However, the analysis shows that Deutsche Telekom is more likely than other network operators to respond swiftly to a commercial launch by a competitor deploying first or to only deploy infrastructure in lucrative core areas. It must be remembered that the review is based solely on information from the players participating in the monitoring survey and that it is often not possible to fully verify the information. In addition, no conclusions about the players' motives and strategies can be drawn from the information provided. It is therefore not yet possible to make a valid competitive assessment.

Next steps 

At the same time as publishing the interim report, the Bundesnetzagentur has contacted Deutsche Telekom and other network operators that were named a certain number of times as duplicating infrastructure. Its aim is to collect more detailed information about, for example, the undertakings' decisions on deployment and their willingness to cooperate more closely with each other and agree on open access arrangements.

The monitoring unit will make an objective analysis of all the information it receives and subsequently publish its findings. It will also still be available for reports of duplicate infrastructure.

Background

The Bundesnetzagentur and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport established a monitoring unit to keep a systematic and continuous record of duplicate fibre infrastructure projects. The aim is to provide a broad basis for discussion with comprehensive findings about the actual situation. This serves to implement a central measure of the Federal Government's Gigabit Strategy.

The interim report and the link to the online questionnaire are available at www.bundesnetzagentur.de/doppelausbau-monitoring (in German).

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