TKG amendment: relief for trenching, penalties for low bandwidth

With the amendment to the Telecommunications Act (TKG), the Federal Government will decide on important changes, including significantly strengthening the expansion with trenching or above-ground laying. This was announced by the Federal Economics and Transport Ministry on August 7, 2020. Construction work for gigabit networks is to be accelerated by greatly simplifying the approval procedures.

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In order to accelerate the expansion of mobile communications in the area, the use of forest and farm roads as well as railway properties is being simplified. Street furniture and other support structures such as advertising signs and traffic lights should also be able to be used by network operators for small cells in 5G networks.

There will also be flat-rate compensation for customers in the event of malfunctions or technician appointments not being kept. Failure to comply with the im “Contract guaranteed bandwidth should have legal consequences” to have. A reduction right is introduced here, details were not given. The introduction of a right to fast Internet for everyone does not mean a right to Fiber To The Home (FTTH) for everyone. But a data rate is not specified in the draft law that has received from government circles.

TKG: There is no need to stimulate the cable network supply

A termination of the cable network access, which is settled via the utility bill, should be made possible for the tenants. “This relic from the 80s to boost cable network supply has lost its justification today. All tenants should have the chance to choose their provider themselves”, declared the ministries. The current system inhibits consumer choice and competition in the telecommunications sector. Here, too, customers should be able to conclude contracts that only last a maximum of 24 months.

The router freedom is to be retained, whereas the network operators are fighting on the European level. It stays with that “Freedom of choice for the customer as to which telecommunications terminal he uses”.

TKG: Local roaming, but within narrow limits

The Federal Network Agency should be able to order local roaming or infrastructure sharing to improve coverage, but only within narrow local limits and “when there are insurmountable obstacles preventing the mobile network operators from expanding their own business”. In the fixed network, open access should be able to be arranged for funding.

The amendment to the law should be in the cabinet between September and October; However, February or March next year are more likely, so the new telecommunications law could come into force in spring 2021.
In some cases, the amendment implements EU requirements into national law. According to information from the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defense have concerns about security issues. The Federal Ministry of Justice wants to push through a shortening of the 24-month contract period in telecommunications.

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