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Deutsche Telekom Wins Watchdog Approval for Faster Web

Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany’s largest phone company, won permission to offer speedier Web access in most urban areas on existing copper lines, giving it a cheaper way to take on cable providers.

The Bonn-based carrier may deny rivals access to its street-side cabinets -- a precondition for installing the so-called DSL vectoring technology -- under certain conditions, Germany’s Federal Network Agency said today in an e-mailed draft ruling. Such a move is allowed, for instance, in areas where customers can choose an alternative fixed-line network, the watchdog said.

“The driving idea behind the decision is to allow vectoring for all market participants and thus drive forward the broadband rollout,” Jochen Homann, the agency’s president, said in the statement. “The open access approach ensures that no monopolies may arise in certain areas: neither for Deutsche Telekom nor its competitors.”

Other DSL providers may also use the technology if they agree to let peers offer their own data services via the cable, the network agency said.

Shares of Deutsche Telekom rose 0.4 percent to 8.46 euros at 11:04 a.m. Frankfurt time.

Deutsche Telekom aims to supply 24 million German households with vectored DSL, which speeds up data transfer by eliminating electromagnetic interference between wires, by 2016. That would let it delay having to replace millions of copper cables in customer homes with fiber-optics connections in coming years, slashing the cost of its broadband rollout by about 80 percent per line, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has estimated.

Germany’s former phone monopoly has estimated that covering the entire country with fiber connections would cost 60 billion euros ($78 billion) to 80 billion euros. The company budgets less than 10 billion euros a year for network investments, a figure that includes mobile and international networks.

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