Digital infrastructure: glass fibre urgently needed!
Report in Wirtschaftsdienst 97th volume, 2017, issue 3, pp. 157-158
German companies present themselves at CeBIT
as a technology leader on the way to the gigabit society. But when it comes to broadband, Germany is lagging: in terms of download speed, it is ranked 26th in the world, behind most industrialised nations and even behind Bulgaria and Romania. Although DSL availability is excellent, only 7.1% of German households have access to genuine fibre optic connections (FTTH/B: Fibre to the Home/Building).
To be able to meet the increasing demands for (symmetrical) transmission rates, latency times and reliability, genuine fibre optic connections (FTTH/B) must be available throughout the country in the long term.
In the short and medium-term, bandwidths beyond 500 Mbit/s could also be achieved cost-effectively through advanced copper-based access technologies. However, such interim solutions reduce the incentives for rapid expansion of FTTH/B, especially since the transition technologies also tie up resources which could alternatively be invested directly in FTTH/B.
In any case, a show of strength by society as a whole is needed to drive forward the expansion. Politicians must provide the decisive impetus, not least to send clear signals to industry and investors.