Germany’s Gigabit land register!

Last Updated: 10. Januar 2024By

Fast internet is the basis for a digital society and associated new economic sectors such as blockchain technology. Access to broadband internet coverage is the most important foundation for the development and expansion of a modern economy. Numerous future technologies – such as the Internet of Things or the Metaverse, or business models revolving around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum – depend on it. Therefore, regularly monitoring a country’s or region’s Gigabit register is also crucial.

The Bitkom analysis of the Gigabit register update shows that the availability of fiber optic and mobile networks in Germany has further improved, according to a recently published analysis by the digital association Bitkom. The expansion of fiber optic connections and fast mobile networks is progressing very well, thanks to close collaboration between business and politics. 97 percent of households now have access to super-fast 5G, compared to only 75 percent in 2022. As of June 2023, 28 percent of households are connected to the fiber optic network, compared to 23 percent at the end of 2022 and only 15 percent at the end of 2021. Across all technologies, more than 73 percent of households can currently request Gigabit connections with 1000 Mbps.

Between 2018 and 2022, Germany moved from 16th to 4th place in the EU comparison of digital infrastructure, and the current increase continues this success story. However, Germany must continue to intensify its efforts to actually achieve its expansion goals by 2030. In a recent Bitkom survey, 90 percent of German citizens demand that the expansion of fast internet be given high priority. The key to this is the reduction of bureaucracy. Whether it’s new masts or new lines: In Germany, it takes many months, and even years, just for a building permit to be approved.

The pact for planning and approval acceleration, agreed upon in November 2023, can be a game-changer and must therefore be implemented quickly. In addition to the building regulations of the federal states, ambitious measures are also needed in the Telecommunications Network Expansion Acceleration Act. It is important that the expansion of telecommunications networks is not only classified as „public interest“ in the future, but as „overriding public interest“ – as is already the case with the expansion of renewable energies.

There is still a lot to be done for Germany in terms of fiber optic expansion Especially in terms of fiber optic expansion, Germany still needs to make further progress. For a fast and smooth Gigabit expansion, the federal republic also needs reliable conditions based on the principle of „private before state“. If too much state funding competes with private financial resources, this leads to the fact that already scarce construction and planning capacities are tied up in funding projects and are therefore no longer available for faster private expansion.

Therefore, Bitkom demands that Gigabit funding be limited to one billion euros per year in the years 2024 to 2026 – this would relieve the federal budget by a total of six billion euros, without resulting in fewer new connections being built. The majority of investments and thus connections were and will be realized without the use of taxpayer money. In the years 2022 to 2025, the telecommunications industry plans to invest a total of around 50 billion euros of its own funds in the expansion of fiber optic networks.

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