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Verdict: Router Freedom country for all customers

Verdict: Router Freedom country for all customers
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Christian Boas

Network operators in Germany are not allowed to dictate to their customers, to use exclusively end-to-end terminals for their broadband connections. This has now again be re-affirmed by the regional court of Essen. In today’s verdict, the consumer center of the state of North-Westphalia (NRW) filed suit against the operator Gelsen-Net Kommunikationsgesellschaft mbH. Until now, other routers could only be used if providers provided the customer with the necessary access data for Internet and telephony. This was repeatedly denied by the network operator Gelsen-Net. At the request of the consumer center NRW, the regional court of Essen has now prohibited the provider from refusing to disclose the required access data to existing customers. The legislature had abolished the “ imposed router “ constraint at the end of last year. The law on radio equipment and telecommunication terminal equipment (FTEG) expressly provides for router-free operation.

Existing customers
Since 1 August 2016, network operators may not refuse to connect to the public telecommunications network if the router meets certain technical requirements. They must provide their customers with the access data and information. It was unclear, however, whether this would only apply to new contracts or whether consumers should also be free to choose the router for existing contracts.

This question was clarified in the above case of existing customers. Because the Consumer Center of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW ) had been denied access to the access data, they had initiated an urgent legal action against the provider before the Essen Regional Court. There the judges shared the opinion of the consumer center NRW. The judgment: Router-free also applies to existing customers.

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