Internet: Fiber optic expansion: Private sector wants less funding

When it comes to fiber optic expansion, the private sector involved is demanding significantly less government funding than previously planned.

Internet: Fiber optic expansion: Private sector wants less funding

When it comes to fiber optic expansion, the private sector involved is demanding significantly less government funding than previously planned. The federal budget should only provide one billion euros over the next three years and not three billion as planned, demanded the Federal Association of Broadband Communications (Breko), the Federal Association of Fiber Optic Connections and the Broadband Association Anga in a joint letter. The digital associations Bitkom and VATM also took this stance. Such relief of a total of six billion euros would also be appropriate given the budget situation, it was said.

Government funding has long been a thorn in the side of the companies that these associations represent. They complain that this means that the scarce construction capacity is diverted from state-supported projects and that other areas are not taken into account, even though more people live there and it is therefore more urgent there. In addition, the official procedures are complex and time-consuming. Overall, the associations complain that expansion is slowing down due to the subsidies.

Companies against flood of applications

Although private companies take part in tenders for funding projects, they sometimes only do so reluctantly - after all, the competition does too. In view of the federal government's annual funding budget, which has so far been significantly overstated, the associations are calling for a change of course in order to prevent another flood of applications. It annoys companies that many municipalities apply for funding at random, so to speak, even though they have no chance. This means that a lot of time passes by - in which the internal economic expansion could have already taken place.

The associations do not want to completely forego state money. They also admit that expansion with very fast and stable internet in some sparsely populated areas of Germany is only possible with state help. The federal government wants fiber optic connections to be available nationwide in Germany by 2030. The Federal Republic is still a long way from that. Fiber optic is considered the best technology for meeting the increasing data needs in the Internet age.

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