In international comparison, Germany is considered a real developing country when it comes to broadband expansion. A study by the Broadband Atlas has now confirmed this in black and white. Almost 3 million people across Germany are said to still suffer from internet speeds that are far too slow.
Broadband expansion six years behind target
When it comes to broadband expansion, Germany is a lame turtle. The country should have had nationwide coverage with fast internet by 2018. To be more precise, the whole of Germany should have benefited from a minimum speed of 50 Mbit/s by this time. However, not much has really remained of the original plan. Six years after the actual end of the project, there are still areas of Germany where residents can only use slow internet. As published by the Federal Broadband Atlas on February 12, 2024, 3.4 million people only have access to slow internet. This was preceded by a survey by Verivox.
At first glance, the data from the Federal Broadband Atlas doesn’t look too bad. After all, 96 percent of all German households are supplied with a sufficiently strong line that can provide at least 50 MBit/s. However, behind the remaining four percent is an impressive figure of 3.4 million people. The number of municipalities with inadequate coverage is alarming. For example, 11,000 municipalities across Germany complain that broadband expansion is inadequate. The situation is particularly bad in 324 municipalities. Here, only just under ten percent have a correspondingly fast Internet connection.
Right to fast Internet disregarded?
Strictly speaking, it is an indictment that an industrialized country like Germany cannot boast sufficiently fast Internet. The whole thing is particularly serious because there is now even a right to fast internet in this country. This was introduced in 2022. The law states that every household must be able to use an internet line with a download rate of at least 10 Mbit/s. Unfortunately, this plan has not worked out either, which is why this right is currently not granted in many cases.
Obstacle for home office and education sector
In 2024, fast internet will be used for a wide variety of things. However, video and music streaming, gaming and visiting the World Wide Web are no longer the only areas of application. In addition to entertainment, fast internet has long been a basic requirement for an adequate education. Working from home, which is becoming increasingly popular, is also only possible if there is a sufficiently good internet connection at home. Daniel Puschmann, head of Verivox, believes that even the nationwide 50 MBit/s targeted for broadband expansion is no longer up to date.
After all, there are significantly more technical devices in the home network these days. Simultaneous use by a household of several people can quickly become a strain on a 50 Mbit/s line. In view of the fact that the target of 50 Mbit/s nationwide coverage has been missed by six years, it seems almost utopian that the current traffic light government will achieve its target for fiber optic expansion. This envisages that every second German household should be able to use a fiber optic line by 2025. The aim is to cover the whole of Germany by 2030.