Vodafone: Vectoring puts Germany on the wrong side of progress


The European Commission has emphasised the need to think long term when it comes to the infrastructure underpinning Europe’s digital economy. In Vodafone’s view, the German regulator is wrong to support short-term incremental upgrades to Germany’s outdated copper telephone networks rather than support investment in the future-proof fibre networks that Germany needs. The proposal will put Germany on the wrong side of progress.

Industry associations across Germany have warned that the vectoring plan, if it proceeds, would leave German citizens and industry at a technological standstill. This would put Germany at a serious disadvantage compared with other EU Member States (such as Sweden, Spain and Portugal) that already enjoy the benefits of widespread gigabit-capable networks, and those like France that have made the deployment of fibre networks their top priority.

German associations – together with the Federal Cartel Office – have also warned that relying on vectoring technology could lead to Deutsche Telekom having a monopoly over large parts of Germany’s network infrastructure. This re-monopolisation would undo decades of market liberalisation, eroding competition and choice for millions of German businesses and consumers.

The European Commission has shown that it is unafraid to take bold decisions for Europe’s future; in that respect, we trust that it will look closely at what is proposed. We believe these plans would create a significant barrier to the digital single market in Europe’s largest economy and are fundamentally incompatible with both the spirit and the letter of the EU regulatory telecommunications framework and EU competition law.