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Deutsche Telekom let off flat-fee Net access hook

German ISPs back to paying by the minute

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Deutsche Telekom no longer has to offer flat rate Internet fees to ISPs, a German court ruled today.

The decision overturns an order by Germany's telecoms watchdog last year, which forced Deutsche Telekom to let ISPs use its lines for a flat fee.

At the time ISPs were offering surfers flat-rate Net access, but were still being forced to pay Deutsche Telekom for network access by the minute. Meanwhile, Deutsche Telekom's own ISP, T-Online, was offering surfers its own unmetered access package.

The decision by The Regulation for Telecommunication and Post (RegTP) gave Deutsche Telekom until February 1 to hand over access to its lines for one charge.

But the telco giant was none too happy, and threatened legal action - which brings us to today's move by an appeals court. The decision was due largely to the fact that T-Online has agreed to ditch its flat-fee Net offering, AP reports.

The decision lets Deutsche Telekom off the hook while it challenges last month's decision in court. And German surfers are stuck with paying higher fees to get online.

AOL Germany asked Deutsche Telekom, which controls the local loop in Germany, to "give up its obstructive position and clear the way for Germany's flat-rate future." ®

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