German regulator proposes to hike fees Deutsche Telekom can impose on rivals

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the logo of Deutsche Telekom AG at the headquarters of German telecommunications giant in Bonn, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Federal Network Agency on Wednesday said Deutsche Telekom could raise fees it charges rivals for accessing its “last mile” infrastructure, the last bit of cable connecting customers to the internet.

The agency in a statement said it proposed Deutsche Telekom to increase charges for accessing subscriber lines at the main distributors to 11.19 euros ($12.62) per month from currently 10.02 euros, starting from July 2019.

Former monopoly Deutsche Telekom often owns the last part of telecommunication cables into consumers’ homes, the “last mile”, making rivals reliant on it to offer their own services.

In the end of last year, Telekom leased 5.2 million last mile connections to rivals such as United Internet and Vodafone, less than in previous years.

The hike is due to increasing prices of underground construction and installation works, the agency said, adding that the proposal was valid for three years.

The proposal is not yet binding and subject to the approval of the European Commission, national and EU regulators.

Competitors can also express their views on the price hike.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and David Evans