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22.12.2022

Working Paper No. 5: In-Building Telecommunications Infrastructure

The newly passed German telecommunication regulation has set the deployment and sharing conditions of in-building infrastructure with the purpose of addressing the need of generating proper incentives to network operators to invest in and extend their very high capacity access networks. At the same time, this should help reducing the gap of gigabit speeds reaching end user’s buildings door step but not their actual homes.

This paper analyses relevant technical aspects of deploying and sharing in-building infrastructures. Particularly, we address, from a technical perspective, the requirements that different transmission technologies have on different in-building infrastructures, the opportunities and limitations on sharing in-building infrastructure, as well as the shortcomings of certain types of in-building infrastructure and topologies in achieving the gigabit objectives.

We provide an overview and technical comparison of the different in-building network installations and technologies that are predominantly available in Germany in order to assess which are capable to ensure a delivery of 1 Gbps (in down- and upstream communication) to the end user. In this context, we analyse the implications that the identified technologies have on promoting open access to the building and therefore competition among network providers.

By going beyond the new regulation, this paper also assesses the role of standardisation of in-building infrastructure, in securing investments in very high capacity access networks and keeping the infrastructure adaptable to new developments in the future. In absence of binding standards, we gather a set of practical recommendations promoted by German institutions regarding the deployment of new in-building infrastructure.

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