Telecommunications: Funding stop for fast internet: Criticism from Saxony

The funding freeze for fast internet has triggered criticism and disappointment in Saxony.

Telecommunications: Funding stop for fast internet: Criticism from Saxony

The funding freeze for fast internet has triggered criticism and disappointment in Saxony. The federal government had prematurely stopped the gigabit promotion due to a lack of money for this year. According to Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP), the available funding of three billion euros has been exhausted. "We call on the federal government to allow all municipalities that have gone through the time-consuming process of preparing an application to submit an application, even if approval is only financially feasible in 2023," said State Secretary for Economic Affairs Ines Fröhlich in Dresden on Thursday.

According to Fröhlich, the federal government must also quickly present the framework for a new funding program in order to give the districts and municipalities planning security. The aim is to accelerate broadband expansion with fiber optics as a basis for solid 5G coverage and to ensure nationwide coverage by 2030. With the gigabit strategy, the federal government wants to achieve the digital awakening for Germany. Home office, streaming in the ICE or reception at the mountain hut should finally be possible without any problems.

"Instead, now the application freeze - especially at a time when the gas shortage is forcing us to significantly accelerate transformation processes, save fossil fuels and use other energy sources," emphasized Fröhlich. This is only possible with digitally supported solutions and they need digital infrastructure: "The turning point needs digital infrastructure."

The municipal umbrella organizations also reacted disappointed. "The federal government has always emphasized that there are sufficient funds available for the subsidized broadband expansion. We trusted in that. Now the federal government is surprisingly stopping the expansion of the light gray areas before it could even get off to a good start in Saxony," explained Mischa Woitscheck, Managing Director of the Saxon City and Municipality Day. The expansion plans of most Saxon municipalities and districts would be "slowed down to zero speed". Wissing ends the funding without communicating how things will continue in the following years.

"It couldn't just have been clear to the federal government since yesterday that federal funds for broadband expansion are running out. The Free State and its municipalities were not informed in advance. If the federal government does not immediately add funds, it would literally be like a declaration of bankruptcy by the Federal Minister for Digitization ", emphasized André Jacob, executive presidential member of the Saxon district association

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