Federal Network Agency

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Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railways
- BNetzA -

State level Federation
position Higher federal authority
founding 1998 as "Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post"
Headquarters Bonn
Authority management Jochen Homann , President
Servants 2832 plus 125 trainees
Web presence Bundesnetzagentur.de
Headquarters of the Federal Network Agency in Bonn's tulip field
Office in Mainz
Branch office in Eschborn

The Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railways based in Bonn , or Federal Network Agency ( BNetzA ) for short , is a top German federal authority within the scope of the Federal Ministry of Economics . As the highest German regulatory authority , its tasks are to maintain and promote competition in so-called network markets. Another task is the moderation of arbitration proceedings . The Federal Network Agency is also the supervisory body for trust service providers according to the eIDAS regulation .


The authority emerged from the Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications (BMPT) and the Federal Office for Post and Telecommunications (BAPT) and was founded on January 1, 1998 as the regulatory authority for telecommunications and post (RegTP) . The first president of the regulatory authority was from 1998 to 2000 Klaus-Dieter Scheurle .

In summer 2005, in addition to regulating telecommunications networks, the authority was given responsibility for regulating energy (electricity and gas) and was therefore renamed the Federal Network Agency . Since January 1, 2006, the Federal Network Agency has also been responsible for monitoring access to the railway infrastructure and therefore bears the full name of the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railways .

Tasks and structure

The authority is responsible for competition in the five network markets of electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and rail transport.

The administrative seat of the Federal Network Agency is the federal city of Bonn. The technical center is in Mainz . The agency is subject to the official and - predominantly - technical supervision of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi); With regard to telecommunications law, the BNetzA is subject to the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). It has 10 branch offices and 25 locations assigned to the respective branch offices, so that it has a nationwide presence. The current President of the Federal Network Agency is Jochen Homann , who succeeded Matthias Kurth on March 1, 2012 . Joachim Pfeiffer, Member of the Bundestag, has been the Chairman of the Advisory Board since March 2014 . The Federal Network Agency has around 3000 employees.


Measuring vehicle of the Federal Network Agency, 2016

After the privatization of the Deutsche Bundespost into three independent companies, the Telecommunications Act (TKG) created an authority with the task of regulating the affected markets. This is intended to give competitors to the former monopolists equal opportunities .

Competitive supervision

Their duties include reviewing and approving all tariff changes by companies that have a dominant position in a particular market . So far, only Deutsche Telekom has been affected ; this tried to take action against local providers based on this provision.

The Federal Network Agency must also ensure that the former monopoly competitor offers all services at economically justifiable conditions (see " price-performance ratio "). For this reason, Telekom has to give competitors access to subscriber lines at fixed conditions, for example , or a former unit of the Federal Post Office, Media Broadcast , has to grant competitors access to their ultra-short wave transmitters. Media Broadcast's competitor has been the Düsseldorf- based Uplink Network since 2013 .

Technical supervision

In addition to its competition law activities, the Federal Network Agency also has tasks in the technical area. The Federal Network Agency is also responsible for technical regulation in telecommunications. From co-developing new technologies in standardization committees to checking the devices on the market, she is involved in the entire technology cycle. Working in standardization organizations helps ensure that the regulatory goals are taken into account and promotes the development of open and interoperable standards and interface descriptions. This promotes competition. The Federal Network Agency works u. a. at ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), ITU-T (International Telecommunications Union) and DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting).

The Federal Network Agency is u. a. responsible for the application of the EU directives 1999/5 / EG (R & TTE directive) and 2004/108 / EG (EMC directive) in Germany, which are implemented in the German laws EMVG and FTEG. According to the European legal framework for the marketing of products, the EU member states should monitor the market effectively in order to protect consumers from unsafe products. Since the competence of the market supervisory authorities is geographically limited, but the basic requirements are identical in the entire EU internal market and should be interpreted and applied uniformly, the market surveillance of the Federal Network Agency works together with customs and other market supervisory authorities at home and abroad.

The task of the Federal Network Agency is u. a. to ensure efficient and interference-free use of frequencies. In the event of radio interference, consumers can call in the Federal Network Agency, which will investigate the case and take action to eliminate the interference in accordance with the circumstances and the statutory provisions (ex post). Corresponding parameters for radio compatibility are already developed when the corresponding standards for equipment are drawn up (ex ante).

The Federal Network Agency tests electronic devices for their electromagnetic compatibility . All fixed radio stations with a transmission power of more than 10 watts EIRP are checked by the Federal Network Agency for compliance with the limit values ​​of their emitted electromagnetic fields before they go into operation. The corresponding procedure is specified in the BEMFV .

An equally important aspect for radio stations is the frequency order. So were z. For example, the UMTS frequencies are auctioned off to the public , but the Federal Network Agency also draws up the frequency plan in which the entire frequency spectrum is allocated to the various radio services. So z. B. the amateur bands for the amateur radio service , commercial radio to companies and individual frequencies to radio stations or broadcasters.

In the case of radio services that require an examination to participate in their radio communications, such examinations are carried out by the Federal Network Agency. B. the exams for aeronautical radio and for the amateur radio certificates of the amateur radio service . The tests for the maritime radio service have partly been placed in the hands of the sailing sports associations. The Federal Network Agency assigns the call signs for the radio services.

In the telephone sector, the Federal Network Agency z. B. Rules for the allocation of phone numbers (for example for 0900 value-added services or 118 information services).

The Federal Network Agency is also named in the Trust Services Act as the supervisory body for electronic transactions according to the eIDAS regulation . In this function, she supervises trust service providers and also participates in the standardization of trust services at national and international level.

According to Section 110 (1) Sentence 1 No. 3 TKG , anyone who operates a telecommunications system with which telecommunications services are provided to the public must provide the Federal Network Agency with proof, free of charge, that their technical facilities and organizational precautions are required to implement the monitoring measures ordered of telecommunications (TKÜ) comply with the provisions of the TKÜV and the technical guideline according to Section 110 (3) TKG. To do this, he must also enable the Federal Network Agency to carry out on-site testing.

Consumer protection

Section 67 (1) TKG finally also authorizes the Federal Network Agency to monitor compliance with other laws. This applies in particular to consumer protection , but the wording of the law is objectively unrestricted. According to § 20 UWG, the Federal Network Agency punishes illegal telephone advertising such as slamming with a fine of up to 300,000 euros. The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia has repeatedly ruled that the Federal Network Agency canalso punish violations of statutory provisions that have absolutely no relation to telecommunicationsunder Section 67 TKG.

On February 17, 2017, the Federal Network Agency took action under Section 90 TKG against a children's toy that has radio transmission systems and thus enables clandestine image or sound recording; In addition, she pulled the first internet-enabled toy doll "My Friend Cayla" from the manufacturer Genesis Toys (distributed in Germany by Vivid Deutschland GmbH), which has been on the market since 2014, from the market because of unsecured access to the microphone via Bluetooth and asked parents to destroy the toy .

The Federal Network Agency also introduced the obligation to announce the price free of charge for certain international telephone codes . The aim is to protect consumers from expensive recall traps (so-called ping calls). Mobile operators must activate the free price announcement by March 1, 2019 for around 56 countries whose area codes can be confused with a German area code.

Technical supervision

By the organizational decree of the Federal Chancellor of December 17, 2013, the technical supervision of the Federal Network Agency with regard to telecommunications law from the division of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy was transferred to the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

post Office

The Federal Network Agency is also the direct contact for everyone in the event of irregularities in the delivery of letters or parcels . The authority is obliged to investigate the complaints.

Electricity and gas supply network

With the implementation of the European acceleration guidelines for electricity and gas for more competition in the energy market , the Energy Industry Act was revised in 2005 and the Federal Network Agency was granted extensive powers over the German energy industry for the electricity and gas markets.

Your main task is the control and approval of the network usage charges and the creation of non-discriminatory access to electricity and gas networks that are owned by the energy supply companies . To this end, the organizational structure in the electricity and gas sector was adapted to that of the telecommunications and postal sectors. A total of twelve units and five ruling chambers continue the work started by the development team. The BNA verified and confirmed to by the transmission system operators established network development plan current and by the transmission system operator established network development plan gas and executes the approval process for the country border projects from the federal requirements plan law.

The Federal Network Agency shares responsibility in many areas of regulation with the federal states. The state regulatory authorities are responsible for companies with fewer than 100,000 customers whose supply networks are located within national borders. Five federal states have transferred their tasks to the Federal Network Agency within the framework of an organ loan, which then acts on behalf of the state regulatory authority. These are Berlin , Brandenburg , Bremen , Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia .

Railway infrastructure

Since January 1, 2006, the Federal Network Agency has also been responsible for monitoring access to the railway infrastructure and services. The legal framework has been based on the Railway Regulation Act (ERegG) since September 2, 2016. Previously, the regulation on non-discriminatory access to the railway infrastructure and on the principles for charging fees for the use of the railway infrastructure (Railway Infrastructure Usage Regulation , EIBV ) was the corresponding provision. The legal framework resulted solely from the previous General Railway Act (AEG).

On May 15, 2006, the Federal Network Agency's Railway Infrastructure Advisory Board met for its constituent meeting. It consists of nine members each of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, who are appointed by the federal government for a two-year term on the proposal of the two houses. According to § 35 AEG it has, among other things, the task of supporting the Federal Network Agency in its tasks.


Jochen Homann , President of the Federal Network Agency since March 1, 2012

See also


Web links

Commons : Federal Network Agency  - Collection of Images
Wiktionary: Bundesnetzagentur  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Budget 2020 - Section 12 - Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Federal Ministry of Finance, accessed on August 27, 2020 (overview of positions: pages 206-208; trainees: page 190).
  2. Organizational Order of the Federal Chancellor , Paragraph IV (on BMVI)
  3. Federal Network Agency: Branch Offices
  4. Federal Network Agency regulates VHF antenna use
  5. Responsibilities according to EMVG
  6. Responsibilities according to FTEG
  7. Small inquiry, BT-Drs. 17/8544
  8. z. B. 13 B 668/08 dated June 25, 2008, “push-button model” in telephone advertising remains prohibited - violation of the law against unfair competition , 13 B 1397/08 and 13 B 1395/08 dated September 26, 2008.
  9. Federal Network Agency pulls child doll “Cayla” out of circulation. In: Federal Network Agency. Retrieved February 17, 2017 .
  10. Renewed obligation to announce prices to curb ping calls . bundesnetzagentur.de. February 8, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  11. Organizational Order of the Federal Chancellor , Paragraph IV (on BMVI)
  12. Railway Infrastructure Advisory Board . In: Advisory Boards and Country Committee. Federal Network Agency, January 8, 2014, accessed on May 21, 2015 .
  13. Announcement of the Infrastructure Advisory Board established . In: Eisenbahn-Revue International . Issue 7/2006, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 322.

Coordinates: 50 ° 42 '53.6 "  N , 7 ° 7' 27.1"  E