21 August 2006

Broadband in Germany

There have been a number of interesting items over the past week that I will be bringing up over the next few days. The first of these is this item in BusinessWeek (and this one in the Washington Post). This policy, which requires the carriers in the EU to open their broadband networks to resellers, stands in contrast to the current policy in the US, one that has been addressed both by the FCC and the US Supreme Court.

Which approach do you think is right? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the EU approach? Is there a middle ground that you would recommend?

Update: In this article, Tom Hazlett argues that these rules inhibit innovation and investment. Do you agree with him?

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1 comment:

KuangChiu Huang said...

The tradeoff between fiber optical network buildup and open access is a tough issue for telecom authorities to compromise. I guess Deutsche Telekom has built most of its next generation network or assigned contractors for network building. If that so, it has lost its bargain power with the regulatory authorities.

Open network is one thing, pricing is another. From the article, Deutsche Telekom needs an approval from BNetzA for pricing. It means that Deutsche Telekom needs mercy from BNetzA to justify its network investment and monopolistic profit from high speed Internet access is going to be evaporated. If Deutsche Telekom was 100% national owned company, it could be treated as public property investment. However, it is a private company and how to offer suitable compensation/ROI for its stockholders would be an issue for discussion.

Maybe the policy of open access in EU is unavoidable; I am looking forward to see how BNetzA and Deutsche Telekom negotiate and compromise.