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Unitymedia is allowed to use private Router for Hotspots

The Supreme court has decided: The network operator is allowed to charge its Wireless customers a second Hotspot on the Router, so people outside the apartment can make use of this. Consumer advocates had complained about it.

How has decided the Federal Supreme court?

The Internet provider Unitymedia is allowed to access the Router to its customers, and there is a Wi-Fi Hotspot set up. The judgment of the Federal court of justice (BGH) on Thursday in the last instance. (Az: I ZR 23/18).

According to the court, the intrusion of an additional signal does not affect the Contractual obligation. Although there could be harassed as a result, the customer, this harassment is but reasonable, because the customer could, at any time, also subsequently, to contradict. The activation of the second Wireless signal is a solely technical process.

There was also the risk that the customer was liable for breaches of the law, the other people on the second Wi-Fi access to commit. Also a violation of the privacy or the property of the customers. Because of the own Wi-Fi Spot on the Router is still password-protected, and stay for third parties not usable.

what's the case?

The consumer advice centre of North Rhine-Westphalia, had sued two years ago, Unitymedia, because the company is unquestioned customer uses a router to establish a Wi-Fi hotspot for other customers. The company, headquartered in Cologne, had informed its customers in writing that it is Software for a second Wi-Fi-turn Signal and you have the opportunity to appeal against it granted.

The consumer advocates think that is an unreasonable harassment, and requested that Unitymedia is allowed to access only with the Express consent ("Opt-in") to the customer on their Router.

What makes Unitymedia?

Unitymedia operates the cable network in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia and has significantly more than three million customers for Internet and phone. The company uses the Router to its customers, in addition to the password-protected private Wi-Fi, a part a public Wi-Fi access to the Internet for its other customers. This allows you to Unitymedia customers the access to the Internet at more than one Million Wi-Fi Spots without a new registration.

What other Internet provider?

Other Internet providers such as Telekom or Vodafone are using similar systems to your customers as comprehensively as possible Hotspots. However, ask your customers if they need a new Router or Internet connection to order so far in advance for permission. Customers who do not place your Router for the public hotspot available, cannot usually be accessed for free on the Hotspots of the other customers.

How the lower court decisions were?

In the first instance before the regional court of Cologne, the judges of 2017 Unitymedia, to enable the separate Wi-Fi Signal, if this has not been agreed with the consumer contract and the consumer for the activation of no consent granted have had to say.

In the appeal proceedings before the higher regional court of Cologne, the judges saw it differently. She lifted the judgment of the district court and dismissed the complaint of the consumer Central. As justification, the judge argued that the intrusion of the additional signal does not constitute undue harassment of the customer within the meaning of the act against unfair competition (UWG). The company had a legitimate interest, the services it can offer through additional functions. In addition, there is an interest of the other customers to use Wi-Fi Hotspots outside the private apartment. Also, the Software could be play without any disturbance or safety risk to the customer. Finally, the ownership is not affected, because the routers are owned by Unitymedia.

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