Friday, April 26, 2013

EU Competition Commissioner: Telekom customers should terminate -

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has made it clear that the EU will take action against the plans of Deutsche Telekom for a reduction of fixed Internet connections nothing. It is normal if companies wanted to push through higher prices for higher volumes of data. The EU will therefore not engage in free competition, she told picture. With similar arguments it had raised in January in a dispute over the French provider Free, who had blocked Advertise with its Freebox router.

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes (Photo: German Mass)

While the EU would do nothing but consumers stand this of course free. “Millions of people want to have unrestricted access to the Internet, and they must know what they are getting and what they do not get it,” Kroes said. “The customers should vote with their feet if their provider does not fulfill this desire.”

Federal Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner (CSU), criticized the group’s plans clear: “It seems that the telecom is on the line – otherwise they would realize that their new business model threatens to become a classic non-starter. The Telekom may their customers not to offend. “Also over image Aigner graduated from a non-intervention by the Federal Cartel Office. “If it turns out that the telecom exploits its dominant position, the Cartel must intervene. If the new rates represent a threat to net neutrality, the Agency must act. “

German Economics Minister Philipp Rösler (FDP) interferes mainly due to the fact that Telekom will not count towards the high-volume contained in the tariffs specified own services. He had stated in a letter to Deutsche Telekom Board René Obermann, competition authorities and the government would “pursue the further development in relation to a different treatment may own and other services very carefully in terms of net neutrality.”

Telecom defends plans as “fair solution”

Telecom defends itself against the allegations and speaks of a “fair solution” in order to increasingly ask so-called “heavy users” who consume a lot of bandwidth on average to the checkout. “The alternative would have been to increase the global prices for all customers,” said a spokesman for Deutsche Telekom.

support of the Bonn-based company receives from Bitkom. The Wettberwerb in the German telecommunications market is extremely hard, the prices have dropped over the past few years and the market is shrinking from year to year, said Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder opposite picture. “At the same time the volume of data in the network is growing exponentially – and a very small group of users creates a very large part of the traffic. These heavy users are being co-financed by all other users. “

Another association, the FTTH Council Europe, a Europe-wide industry organization with the aim of promoting the availability of fiber to the home, has spoken out against the plans, however Telekom. “We at the FTTH Council Europe following the introduction of speed reduction in fixed broadband products of Deutsche Telekom with concern. This is the first step away from net neutrality, “says Hartwig Tauber, Director General FTTH Council Europe, in a press release.

Since only telecom services such as Spotify and entertainment, as well as the traffic generated by them are exempt from the limitation, customers would indirectly forced to book services of Deutsche Telekom, which restricts the market and the variety. Tauber also feared that what today begin with the Entertain products, will soon be extended to cloud services and other applications. In addition, the volume limits could soon be reduced once they are introduced.

Some telecom competitors to see the announcement but also as an opportunity to bring itself into the conversation. For example, the Bavarian network operator M-net has said in a statement that he would take neither been a reduction of the available DSL bandwidth after exceeding a defined volume limit currently in this respect he had something planned.

a small swipe at the years of hesitant when fiber-optic expansion Telekom did not verkneift: “Our fiber optic networks have such extensive capabilities that this is not necessary.” Traffic volumes of the major content providers would indeed utilize the networks increasingly, but they had “recognized this trend early on and acted accordingly ahead” by’ve started several years ago to invest heavily in the development and expansion of fiber-based broadband networks.

[with material from Björn Griffin,]

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