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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Investment incentive needed for broadband networks

Having a high-performance, reliable and secure broadband infrastructure is the basis of success for all business sectors and is a key factor in making a business location attractive. Deutsche Telekom has been investing extensively in infrastructure for fixed-line and mobile (fiber-optic) Internet for years, making a considerable contribution and showing more commitment than any other company to providing full-area coverage, particularly in rural areas.

In view of the ambitious broadband goals at both the national and European level, the main purpose of telecommunications and regulatory policies needs to be improving planning security and, in particular, the financial power of companies willing to invest in the market. This is the only way to fully tap private network expansion potential using all available technologies. In areas where broadband roll-out is not economically feasible, it is up to the public sector to develop far-sighted technology and provider-independent incentive programs to help effectively finance these efforts. Legal frameworks and regulatory practice need to actively support private-sector investment in new fiber-optic networks and prevent unnecessary financial burdens and red tape for the network operators investing in networks.

Regulatory intervention needs to be restricted to proven market failure to keep it from unnecessarily limiting innovation. Open access must be embraced as a basic principle so that competition and free choice for consumers are guaranteed in connection with all network expansion projects.

In view of the fact that the Internet and telecommunications market are converging rapidly and in light of the growing market power of a few global Internet players, sector-specific regulation of telecommunications is creating more and more of an imbalance. The same laws and regulations that apply to telecommunications companies also need to apply to Internet companies providing the same services. The objective here must be to create equal competitive conditions and enable fair distribution of the financial burden involved in broadband expansion.