BNetzA Aims to Realise Synergies Between Electricity Grid Expansion and Broadband Expansion

The German grid regulator wants to create synergies and speed up broadband expansion by laying broadband cables parallel to new power lines. To this end the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has published a guideline that describes in particular under what conditions the costs associated with the parallel lines can be claimed by grid operators under the Incentive Regulation Ordinance (ARegV), which sets the rules for the revenue caps on the grid fees German network operators can charge.

Pursuant to a 2011 amendment of the Telecommunications Act, the operators of grids, which are technically suitable to (also) house so-called “telecommunication grids of the next generation”, are obliged to offer operators of public telecommunication grids the parallel use upon request for a reasonable compensation (Section 77b para. 1 TKG).

There were different options for laying parallel cables, BNetzA points out. Firstly, the electricity grid operator could lay fibre optic cables on behalf of the telecommunications service provider while laying new electricity cables. The telecoms provider would contribute proportionately to the costs for civil engineering (Tiefbaukosten), which would often account for 80% of the costs for new telecommunication cables. Hence, the grid operator and the telecoms provider would both benefit from cost savings for civil engineering, BNetzA says. Secondly, the grid operator could lay fibre optic cables at his own expense and then market capacities that were not used by him, BNetzA says. The revenue would reduce his own costs.

Regarding the idea to use the existing large 16.7 Hz railway power grid to accelerate electricity grid expansion after Germany energy policy shift of 2011 towards a renewable energy supply please see the links below.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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