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Setback for OTT: Deutsche Telekom to curb ADSL volumes

Germany's national telco Deutsche Telekom is fighting back against OTT players using its broadband network for data-intense services like video-on-demand (VOD) portals without sharing their revenues by throttling the data rate to 384Kbit/s for ADSL and VDSL customers if they exceed the volume included in their tariff.

Telekom is the first large telco to deploy the model for its fixed line networks, which has so far been used for mobile networks. Customers whose data rate is curbed will be able to book further high speed data contingents for a fee.

"We want to continue offering our customers the best network in future into which we invest billions of euros. However, constantly increasing bandwidths can't be financed through constantly dropping prices. We will have to charge customers with very high data consumption more in future," said Michael Hagspihl, managing director marketing at Telekom Deutschland.

The throttling will be included in the terms of trade of new contracts signed from 2 May 2013. Existing customers will not be affected. When Telekom will actually make use of the speed limitation depends on the general traffic development on the Internet. "We currently expect the limitation not to be technically implemented before 2016," said Hagspihl.

Customers will be able to monitor their data consumption at Telekom's customer portal on the Internet. According to the telco, on average customers currently use 15GB to 20GB of data volume per month. The smallest integrated data volume will be 75GB and the highest 400GB.

The data traffic generated by the use of Telekom' own IPTV platform Entertain won't be attributed to the volume integrated in the tariffs. "With Entertain, customers book television. We will therefore ensure that they will not suddenly sit in front of a black screen," explained Hagspihl. Also, voice telephony through Telekom's fixed line subscription will be excluded.

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