German lobby groups call for govt to support gigabit broadband

Wednesday 6 September 2017 | 15:19 CET | News

The next government in Germany must create incentives to stimulate gigabit broadband infrastructure, according to a call from the industry groups Anga, Breko, Buglas, VATM and the FTTH Council Europe. At a conference in Berlin, they outlined measures needed "urgently" to ensure that "Europe's strongest economy also has the best digital infrastructure".

FTTH/B and hybrd fibre cable networks are needed not just to support citizens and businesses, but also to ensure the next generation of mobile networks, 5G, the groups said in a statement. "Transitional" technologies, involving upgrades of the copper network such as vectoring, will not be enough to meet the future bandwidth demands, and the government must put a clear focus from the start on encouraging gigabit networks, they said. 

The industry groups point to the leading role taken by alternative operators, which built over 80 percent of existing FTTH/B networks in Germany. They want continued regulation of the incumbent Deutsche Telekom, with limited restrictions on alternative providers, in order to ensure the investment continues. 

Any further government subsidies also must focus on gigabit broadband. The government's broadband targets should also be revised, moving beyond the goals of 50 Mbps for all by 2018 to a clear target for gigabit services by 2025.

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