German cable operator safe from regulation, says Kurth

German cable operators do not have a dominant position and do not need to be regulated, according to Federal Network Agency chief Matthias Kurth.

Kurth told the Reuters news agency that the regulator’s most recent survey found that Deutsche Telekom dominated the broadband market with 12 million DSL lines, while Kabel Deutschland, Unitymedia, Kabel BW and Tele Columbus together had just 2.9 million broadband customers between them, representing an 11% market share. The networks would need to have a 25% share before the agency would look at them closely, and a 40% share before they would be considered to have a dominant market position.

Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann recently complained that the cable operators were using their dominant position in TV delivery to make inroads into broadband by offering multi-play offerings. Obermann complained in particular that housing associations could transfer tenants to cable broadband without their knowledge. However, Kurth said that the Federal Network Agency had no powers to intervene in this market.
Separately, Kabel Deutschland has launched 100Mbps internet service in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the first time and has announced an expansion of the service in Bavaria, taking fast internet to an additional 100,000 homes across the country.

In addition to the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state capital of Schwerin, the cable operator will offer 100Mbps service to the towns of Gadebusch, Pingelshagen, Raben Steinfeld and Wittenförden. In Bavaria, the operator will launch the service in Allgäu and the neighbouring towns of Altusried, Betzigau, Buchberg, Dietmannsried, Durand, arbours, Sulzberg, Waltenhofen, Wiggensbach and Wildpoldsried.

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