Industry: Funding for fiber optic expansion more a curse than a blessing

Düsseldorf (dpa) – The Internet provider Deutsche Glasfaser wants to significantly accelerate its network expansion – and considers state subsidies to be a headwind.

Currently, around 35. 000 Fiber optic connections completed, by 2025 this value will be set to 70. 000 Connections are increasing per month, said company boss Thorsten Dirks of the dpa in Düsseldorf. That would end up with around four million households in the company’s fiber optic network at the end of the year 2025 – at the end of the year it would be around 1.2 million. The construction capacities for civil engineering are scarce, says Dirks. However, the company is very confident that it will achieve its goal.

State funding for the expansion of fiber optic Internet is more a curse than a blessing from the company’s boss’s point of view. “That entails lengthy official procedures, and it makes building considerably more expensive,” says Dirks. “Funding is well-intentioned, but it is counterproductive: It does not provide more momentum, but less.” The industry association VATM has a similar stance, the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND) recently reported on this Areas with less than 30 Mbit per second can be requested, but also in areas with less than 100 Mbit per second – also in « Gray spots ”, after that was previously only possible in“ White spots ”.

In very sparsely populated areas with a snail’s pace of the Internet, subsidies could make sense as a last resort for expansion, says Dirks. Subsidizing construction projects in areas with mediocre internet, however, creates the wrong incentives. “The private sector can do this on its own.”

There is contradiction in politics. Anke Domscheit-Berg from the Left Party also criticizes lengthy approval procedures that have to be accelerated – for example through fully digitized processes and more transparency in the market. In general, however, funding is an important component in finally moving Germany’s Internet landscape forward.

If there is more money and more demand, the construction industry will increase its supply and more will be built, says the digital politician Spokeswoman for the left parliamentary group in the Bundestag. “We must use the funding better than before, especially for the expansion of fiber optic networks in municipal hands, then it will also improve Germany’s underdeveloped Internet supply.” Apartments, called FTTH (“Fiber to the Home”). The company from North Rhine-Westphalia has financially strong investors behind it, such as the equity investment company EQT; it has 7 billion euros available for fiber optic expansion.

Competitors include UGG (Our Green Glass Fiber) and Deutsche Telekom. The Bonn-based company, which has long relied on copper telephone cables for Internet connections, is now also pushing the FTTH expansion – both in cities and in rural areas. Telekom recently announced that three million FTTH households in Germany could now use their fiber optic network. The company currently has 1700 employees and thus 300 more than a year ago, next year it should be more than 2000.

Related Articles

Back to top button