Deutsche Telekom hopes to work more closely with competitors in order to boost access to fibre broadband, the MD of its German opco has said.

Niek Jan van Damme said competition was “essential” to building the best networks, but with his company’s fibre-optic lines covering just 60 percent of German households currently, he said Deutsche Telekom needed to cooperate with rivals.

The operator, which is reliant on an FTTC-based network that uses vectoring technology, has an “initial target” of providing 50MBps to around 80 percent of the population.

At the end of September 2016, it had 3.9 million customers signed up to fibre services directly, plus a further 2.3 million via wholesale.

In an article on the operator’s Management Unplugged blog, van Damme wrote: “We want to utilise our competitors' infrastructure to continue to offer our customers Deutsche Telekom lines everywhere in future.

“Which means we will be supporting the expansion of our partners at the same time.

“This isn't an easy step for Deutsche Telekom by any means: we already know wholesale; now we will have to learn more about ‘wholebuy’.

“Competition does not rule out collaboration.

“We need both to create the best possible infrastructure for Germany.”

Deutsche Telekom already works with Netcologne and TelNet in this regard. The agreement with TelNet, for example, covers nearly 55,000 households in the rural areas of Eifel, Hunsrück and Münsterland.

van Damme’s intervention comes following regulatory updates from the German regulator and the European Commission last year.

In September, Deutsche Telekom finalised an agreement with the Federal Network Agency in relation to expanding the use of vectoring.

Later that same month, Brussels unveiled the Electronic Communications Code, which stated that all European households should have access to download speeds of at least 100MBps by 2025.

The ECC included a measure to reduce regulation if rival operators agree to co-invest in networks.

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