Deutsche Telekom’s Fiber Optic Expansion Sparks Complaints from Providers

Fiber optic providers complain about fiber optic expansion by Deutsche Telekom

Competitors of Deutsche Telekom have written a letter to Digital Minister Volker Wissing, warning of the consequences of uncoordinated fiber optic expansion in Germany. The broadband associations Anga, Breko, Buglas and VATM as well as the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) accuse Deutsche Telekom of using “strategic maneuvers” to slow down fiber optic expansion and thus endanger the federal government’s broadband expansion goals.

The associations complain that Telekom is competing with the existing fiber optic networks of competitors with its own lines or is unsettling local residents with vague expansion announcements. Networks from Telekom competitors that have been in planning for some time are also affected.

Telekom’s competitors claim that the company is destroying the business plans of expanding companies and thwarting their expansion activities. This results in communities being left behind, which are often only partially expanded by Telekom in the end, and citizens without a fiber optic connection.

Telekom has primarily focused on optimizing existing copper lines for years. However, the company is now pushing ahead with the expansion of its fixed network offering with fiber optic lines. This year alone, it aims to connect three million households.

Telekom managers reject the allegations that the company is planning or building lines, although it has access to the lines of the competition. The so-called superstructure accounts for only a fraction of the network expansion in Germany.

Telekom’s competitors are calling on the federal government, as the major shareholder of Deutsche Telekom, to put its 30 percent stake in the former state-owned company on the balance and persuade Telekom management to change course with the fiber optic superstructure.

At the beginning of the year, Liberty Global’s attempt to return to Germany failed. The group’s German FTTH subsidiary Hellofiber went bankrupt, which means that there will be no fiber optics from Liberty Global.

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