Internet in Germany
The internet is part of the most important infrastructure in modern world.
Almost every modern business depends on the usage of online services whether as a way of collaboration in cloud services, as a way of getting information from all around the world, to control devices and industry robots or simply to amuse oneself. Hardly anyone can imagine a world without the internet today. So almost every reasonable government knows the high potential that comes with fast internet. Again, it’s this aspect that powers modern economy the most. And since Germany arguably has one of the most wealthy and strong economy, it’s pretty obvious that broadband internet is needed to keep it at it’s current state. And after a coalition has been finally formed after a hell of lot talks taking 6 months in total the new government announced that the reachability of high speed internet is going to be one of the highest priorities in this law period and should be even suable in court. “Every German should have the right to high speed internet.”Link
All in all this sounds kind of good, right? Well as you have already imagined it isn’t that simple.
This goal had been already mentioned in the circumstances of last coalition talks in 2013. So this wasn’t something new. But what happened till today then?_ Well, the truth is: fairly nothing. Germany has been lacking of fast internet for 5 to 6 years now. In comparison to other countries from all over world Germany was even left behind Chile and Colombia as the OECD states.Link. That’s a shame for a nation that claims to be one of the pioneers of modern technology and engineering. Even though the internet doesn’t grant instant success it’s becoming more and more of an aspect to decide an enterprises new location as it massively helps to collaborate with your partners from all around the globe, which want to have reachable and reliable partners. So to speak: The internet is almost as important as a well plastered street.
But then, why don’t the authorities speed up the whole process?
For that answer, we have to travel back in time. Since the foundation of the federal republic of Germany the ministry of postal services and communications was responsible for all the aspects around the telephone wires. But following a trend of the 90s to early 2000s Germany privatized federal companies excluded their tasks to those new formed profit oriented holdings. The German Telekom (T-Mobile in the US is a subsidiary of it by the way) was formed. Of course the state still holds shares of this company and it has already been profitable for the state since they get a part of it’s winnings. But it also created a situation of a monopole since this enterprise should be competition with other carriers but it has the advantage that it owns most of the wires and it’s corresponding rights. And so they decide the prices and when to upgrade them to fibre glass due to a special agreement with the government. For that they even want a liberation from competition for some years, but that’s another story.(As stated in the “Spiegel” Magazine). And if a region isn’t enough profitable for them it simply doesn’t get upgraded that fast. Not that it isn’t already a fair competition in the telecommunication market, but that directly conflicts the coalition agreement and denies the access to “fast”(we are talking about 50mbits/s) internet for every German citizen. You could even say that it even breaks the German constitution stating every human is equal, but that’s pure unreasonable exaggeration. As a conclusion you can say that there is definitely something very wrong with the current situation, you can even say scandal, and something NEEDS to be changed. But as Germany is a country of slow developments and strong connections between the economy and the government (Take the “Dieselskandal” for example) I am not very optimistic for this situation to be changed. It’s sad, but that’s economy.
by DaErich(contact links are down below)