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Germany to invest 100 billion into gigabit internet

March 7, 2017

A public-private consortium has bought 50 megabit internet to 75 percent of Germany, now it wants a gigabit network. The network will be a mix of technologies including fiber and 5G.

Network cable
Image: picture alliance/dpa/A. Franke

Germany's federal government plans to help invest 100 billion euros (US$106 billion) over eight years to roll-out gigabit internet across Germany, it announced on Tuesday.

The project will focus not only on a wide bandwidth, but also on security, response times, Federal Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt, who is also responsible for the digital infrastructure, told a Berlin audience.

The rollout would be funded by a government and private consortium known as Netzallianz Digitales Deutschland, which includes most major telecommunication firms in Germany. Since its founding in 2014 75.5 percent of all households gained access to internet speeds of at least 50 Megabits per second.

"In the future, we need more bandwidth, reliable real-time transmission, and intelligent networks that process data independently, prioritize it and transport it to the user as quickly as possible," Dobrindt  said.

Deutschland Pressekonferenz zu Plänen für schnelles Internet | Bundesinfrastrukturminister Alexander Dobrindt
Alexander Dobrindt said his ministry would start allocating 5G frequencies to telecom firms next yearImage: picture alliance/dpa/J. Carstensen

"To this end, we are now building next-generation broadband networks, bringing together the most advanced technologies, such as fiber and the future 5G mobile communications standard . Our common goal is to invest 100 billion euros to create a nationwide gigabit network in Germany by 2025."

According to German IT news outlet "Golem," the 100 billion euros would be made of 80 billion from industry and 20 billion from government. It reported the areas of the network serviced by 5G instead of fiber might only receive speeds of 500 or 600 Megabits per second.

Left-wing politician Herbert Behrens told German news agency dpa he considered the measures to be inadequate, saying the gigabit goal had been part of the popular consensus for so long that the measures were useless.

aw/bw (dpa)

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