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October 23, 2007

Deutsche Telekom and German Property Group Settle IPTV Dispute

By Mae Kowalke
TMCnet Associate Editor

The dispute between German telecom group Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert) and an organization of property companies has been settled. The dispute had to do with ownership of IPTV and cable equipment inside buildings.

Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies (GdW), the property group, was insisting that renters continue to pay cable TV fees (which operators negotiate with real estate companies) even though they were using IPTV (News - Alert) services from Deutsche Telekom instead, Thomson Financial said in a report.
GdW operates about 30 percent of residential rented properties in Germany, Thomson (News - Alert) Financial said.
GdW was also up in arms because it wasn’t clear who had ownership of phone cables inside buildings where those tenants lived. At stake was whether Deutsche Telekom could use those cables to send IPTV signal without first getting permission from real estate administrators, Thomson Financial said.
Now, Deutsche Telekom has agreed to pay GdW a fee of slightly less than 5 euros (---) per IPTV customer to use the equipment. In return, Thomson Financial said, tenants will not be required to pay the cable fee (which is usually charge by the real estate company).
This settlement represents an out-of-court resolution to a dispute that otherwise might have been much more expensive and time-consuming to sort out.
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Mae Kowalke is an associate editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. She also blogs for TMCnet here.

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