New law for the digital economy

The new Telecommunications Act (TKG) came into force on 01.12.2021. Investment-friendly regulation, nationwide provision of adequate and sufficient services, creation of a legally secure basis for innovation and digitalisation. These are the central goals of the modernisation of telecommunications law. The basis for the comprehensive amendment of the Telecommunications Act is the European Electronic Communications Code of 11.12.2018, which had to be transposed into national law by the EU Member States by 21 December 2020.

On 07.05.2021, the Bundesrat approved the Federal Government's bill of 23.04.2021. Amendments to the new law were made as part of the adoption of the new Telecommunications Telemedia Data Protection Act (TTDSG) in the version of the government draft of 19.05.2021. Overall, the new TKG shows a new modernised legal framework in subject areas such as market regulation, frequency policy, infrastructure expansion, consumer protection, and the basic provision of telecommunications services.

The reform is not only of utmost interest for the "classic" telecommunications providers and services. Web-based, so-called "over-the-top" (OTT) services will also be included in the new regulatory framework in the future. Furthermore, digital infrastructures form the basis for a dynamic development of new business models across all sectors. Industry 4.0 and digitalisation are also taking place within this modernised regulatory framework. Addressing the future regulations will therefore become a cross-industry challenge.

Synopsis for comparison of the extensive changes

The new TKG contains extensive and fundamental changes that make a comparison of the old and new regulations indispensable. In cooperation with the Association of Telecommunications and Value-Added Service Providers (VATM), we have therefore compiled a detailed synopsis of the contents of the still valid TKG of 22.06.2004, last amended on 18.05.2021, and the adopted draft law in the version of 19.05.2021 on about 700 pages. The synopsis also assigns the explanatory memorandum to the new TKG to the individual provisions, bringing together the explanatory memorandums from the various Bundestag and Bundesrat documents. The specific references of the new legal provisions to the respective requirements of the European Electronic Communications Code (Directive [EU] 2018/1972) are also shown.

Stay informed

The relevant Bundestag and Bundesrat printed matters on Article 1 TKMoG can be found here, and those on Article 13 TTDSG here. Our lawyers will keep an eye on further developments and inform you here.