German cable operator Tele Columbus has begun implementing a wholesale agreement with Telefónica Deutschland, giving the latter access to its network to provide services to housing associations and their tenants.
From next Monday, housing association tenants will be able to sign up for Telefónica services over the Tele Columbus network, including broadband access with speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The addition of Tele Columbus’s 2.4 million internet-enabled homes passed will allow Telefónica’s O2 to reach over 26 million homes in Germany via cable. Telefónica also has a wholesale agreement with Vodafone following moves made by the latter in a successful attempt to secure regulatory approval for its takeover of Liberty Global’s networks in Germany.
Tele Columbus, which operates its own services under the PŸUR brand, said that the agreement, which was originally struck at the end of 2019, should benefit both parties, with increased penetration of IP services on its network and a strengthening of Telefónica’s fixed line business and bundled services offerings.
“The non-discriminatory opening of our networks is an important part of our Fiber Champion strategy and means real added value for our partners in the housing industry and all tenants. The choice between different product providers increases the attractiveness of Tele Columbus as a supply partner to the housing industry and activates additional potential for our broadband infrastructure,” said Daniel Ritz, CEO of Tele Columbus AG.
The bundling of cable contracts with rental agreements by housing associations has proved controversial in Germany. The country’s upper house, the Bundesrat, in May approved changes to telecommunications legislation that will see the practice phased out by 2024, with tenants given the right to choose their provider independently, a move that was promoted by alternative service providers that had effectively been locked out of the market. However, this measure has met with criticism from the housing industry that it will in practice mean a rise in prices for their tenants.
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