Federal Network Agency

The Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway with headquarters in Bonn, shortly Federal Network Agency ( FNA ) is a top German Federal authority. Exist as top German regulator their tasks in the maintenance and promotion of competition in so-called network markets. Another task is the facilitation of settlement procedures. The Federal Network Agency is also root authority in accordance with the Electronic Signatures Act.


The authority emerged from the Federal Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications ( BMPT ) and the Federal Office for Post and Telecommunications ( BAPT ), was established on 1 January 1998 as a Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post ( Regulatory Authority ). First president of the adjustment was from 1998 to 2000, Klaus -Dieter Scheuerle.

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

Mission and structure

The Authority is responsible for the competition on the five network markets Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway.

Administrative headquarters of the Federal Network Agency is the Federal City of Bonn. The technical center is located in Mainz. The agency's business and - mainly - technical supervision by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi ), Section 7 (rail) is under technical supervision by the Federal Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure ( BMVI ). This has ten branch offices and 25 field offices assigned to the respective locations, so that a nationwide presence surface is given. Current President of the Federal Network Agency Jochen Homann who succeeded Matthias Kurth on 1 March 2012. Chairman of the Advisory Board is Matthias Machning. The Federal Network Agency 2011, approximately 2,500 employees.


After the privatization of German Federal Post Office into three separate companies was created with the Telecommunications Act ( TKG) an authority which the regulation of the markets concerned to the task. Competitors of the incumbent is to be opened so that Equal Opportunities.

Their responsibilities include the review and approval of all tariff changes by companies holding a dominant position on a given market. This hit so far only the German Telekom; this has tried to act relying on that provision against local providers.

The Federal Network Agency must continue to ensure that the former monopolist competitors all services at economically justifiable conditions (see " Value for money " ) offers. For this reason, the telecom competitors access to the local loop for example, must allow for fixed terms.

In addition to the competitive activity, the Federal Network Agency also has responsibilities in the technical field. The Federal Network Agency is also responsible for technical regulation in telecommunications.

From the co-development of new technologies in standards bodies to checking the devices on the market will participate in the entire technology cycle. Participation in standardization organizations contributes to the fact that there the regulatory objectives are taken into account. The participation in the standardization will promote the development of open and interoperable standards and interface descriptions. This competition is promoted. The Federal Network Agency, inter alia, from ETSI ( European Telecommunications Standards Institute ), ITU -T ( International Telecommunications Union ) and DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) with.

The Federal Network Agency is responsible for, inter alia, the application of the EU Directives 1999/5/EC (R & TTE Directive ) and 2004/108/EC ( EMC Directive) in Germany, which are implemented in the German laws EMC and R & TTE. According to the European legal framework for the marketing of products, EU Member States should carry out effective market surveillance to protect consumers from unsafe products. Since the jurisdiction of the market surveillance authorities is spatially restricted to the essential requirements but throughout the EU internal market are identical and should be uniformly interpreted and applied, the market surveillance by the Federal Network Agency is working with Customs and other market regulators in Germany and abroad.

Task of the Federal Network Agency, inter alia, ensure efficient and trouble-free use of frequencies. Consumers can turn on the Federal Network Agency, which is investigating the case and act in accordance with the facts and the law to correct the interference is (ex post) with radio interference. Appropriate parameters for radio compatibility are ( ex ante ) during the creation of appropriate standards of equipment with elaborated.

The Federal Network Agency will examine electronic devices for their electromagnetic compatibility. All fixed stations with a transmitter power exceeding 10 watts EIRP are checked for compliance with the limits of their radiated electromagnetic fields before operations commence by the Federal Network Agency. The corresponding method is specified in the BEMFV.

An equally important aspect of radio stations is the frequency order. For example, the UMTS frequencies were auctioned publicity, but beyond that, the Federal Network Agency the frequency usage plan, where it is assigned to the various radio services the entire frequency spectrum. For example, the amateur bands for the amateur radio service operating radio to businesses and individual frequencies to radio stations and broadcasting companies.

The radio services for which an evaluation is required to participate in the radio traffic, such examinations are administered by the Federal Network Agency. These are, for example, the tests for the aircraft radio and for the Amateur Radio products for the amateur radio service. The tests for the maritime mobile service have been placed partly in the hands of the sailing associations. The allocation of the call sign for radio services is made by the Federal Network Agency.

On the telephone sector, the Federal Network Agency, for example, to (for example, 0900 118 - value-added services or information services ) rules for the allocation of numbers.

Next, the Federal Network Agency is the competent authority under the Digital Signature Act. You must show provider qualified digital certificates, among others, the start of operations and thereby provide a detailed security concept.

The provider can be accredited to her also. For this purpose, the supplier and the technology used by them are fully audited for security risks. For accredited providers, the Federal Network Agency of the official root certificate is the root CA ( root CA ) for the Federal Republic of Germany. In this capacity, the Agency acts as a national and international level and on the standardization of signature schemes and certificates with.

According to § 110 paragraph 1 sentence 1 number 3 TKG, the one who operates a telecommunications facility, are provided with telecommunications services to the public to provide the Agency the gratuitous demonstrate that its technical equipment and organizational arrangements for implementing arranged measures for monitoring telecommunications ( lawful interception ) comply with the provisions of TKÜV and the technical guidelines pursuant to § 110 paragraph 3 of the TKG. And he has to allow the Federal Network Agency also the on-site inspection.

§ 67 Section 1 of the Act empowers the Federal Network Agency finally, to monitor compliance with other laws. This applies in particular to protect the consumer, but the wording of the law is factually unlimited. The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia has repeatedly held that the Federal Network Agency may impose penalties also infringement of legal provisions according to § 67 TKG, which have absolutely no relation to telecommunications (eg 13 B 668/ 08 of 25 June 2008, 13 B 1397/ 08 and 13 B 1395/ 08 of 26 September 2008).

Through the organization adopting the Chancellor December 17, 2013, the technical supervision of the Federal Network Agency in relation to the Telecommunications Law from the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy was transferred to the Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure.


Even with irregularities in the delivery of letters or parcel delivery, the Federal Network Agency is the immediate point of contact for everyone. The authority is obliged to investigate complaints.

Electricity and gas supply network

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

Its main task is the control and approval of use of system charges and the creation of a non-discriminatory access to power and gas networks, which are owned by the power company. For this purpose, the organizational structure has been adjusted in the electricity and gas which the telecommunications and postal sectors. How to perform a total of twelve papers and five Ruling Chambers continued the work begun by building staff.

The Agency shares the responsibility in many areas with the provinces, for businesses with fewer than 100,000 customers and supply networks within the country's borders, the state regulatory authorities. Seven states in turn have transferred their tasks through Organleihe to the Federal Network Agency, which is acting on behalf of the country's regulatory authority then. These are Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg -Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Schleswig -Holstein and Thuringia. This means that around 80 per cent of gas and 90 percent of the electricity market are supervised by her.

Railway infrastructure

Since 1 January 2006, the Federal Network Agency is also responsible for monitoring the access to railway infrastructure and services. A detailed cybersquatting legislation is the Regulation on the non-discriminatory access to rail infrastructure and on the principles for the collection of compensation for the use of railway infrastructure ( Railway Infrastructure Usage Regulations, EIBV ). The legal framework is derived from the General Railway Act ( AEG), in particular, § § 14 et seq AEG.

On 15 May 2006, the Railway Infrastructure Advisory Council of the Federal Network Agency held its inaugural session. It is composed of nine members of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, who are appointed on the proposal of the two houses of the federal government for two years. Pursuant to § 35 AEG he has among its tasks to assist the Agency in their duties.


  • Klaus -Dieter Scheuerle ( 1 January 1998 to 2000)
  • Matthias Kurth (2001 to February 29, 2012)
  • Jochen Homann (since 1 March 2012)


With the introduction of LTE mobile standard, the Agency has been repeatedly criticized for not dealing with the requests of the mobile operators fast enough. Alone, the network operator Vodafone complained about 4700 applications that were overdue and were not processed within the statutory period of six weeks. Due to the continuing criticism, the Agency increased its number of employees to the auditors.