German telco holds onto speedy Web

Telekom welcomes law to restrict competish

BERLIN — Deutsche Telekom, looking to sell films and TV series on the Web, got a boost Friday when a law was passed allowing it to block rivals from accessing its super fast Internet network.

The Teuton telco wants to connect 50 cities to the new VDSL network, in addition to the 10 that were hooked up at the end of 2006. It argued it needed the protection from competish to justify its Euros 3 billion ($4 billion) investment.

Telekom’s long-suffering share price jumped nearly 3% to Euros 13.80 ($18.11) as the law was passed.

The principal elements of the legislation will become effective on Saturday, even though the European Commission has said it will take the German government to court over the controversial move.

Telekom’s competitors complained it blocks their access to the broadband market.

German economy minister Michael Glos said he was confident the measure would withstand any legal challenge.

“We’re strengthening consumer confidence in electronic services and thus helping to develop innovative services with added value,” Glos said.

Telekom wants to use its new speedy network —- which has made its T-Home triple-play service possible — in order to make films available to users.

T-Home offers all of Germany’s major TV channels via IPTV, plus video-on-demand, high-speed Internet and telephony.

According to a recent study, up to a third of German TV households are expected to use triple-play packages.

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