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.

Link to report

Link to Wirtschaftsdienst, issue 03/2017