The Union faction has accused the EU Commission of hampering the multi-billion dollar broadband expansion with fiber optics in Germany, especially in the country. The reason is Brussels' concerns about German funding plans. "The European Commission should not put the brakes on the Member States who want to push the step towards fiber optics," says a letter from leading political group members to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Vice President Margrethe Vestager and Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.
"Not available" – holding onto copper lines
The letter has been received by the German Press Agency. Concerns of the EU Commission could ultimately lead to a longer hold on the copper line – compared to a future-proof fiber optic connection on site.
"It cannot be conveyed to the citizen that an upgraded copper line is sufficient for one and that the federal government will soon promote a fiber optic connection for the neighbor," said Union parliamentary deputy Ulrich Lange of the dpa. He warned of a "digital shield prank". The EU must clear the way for fiber optic expansion in Germany.
Questionable network infrastructure change
The federal broadband funding program has so far focused on "blank spots" – regions in which a bandwidth of 30 Mbit per second is not reached at the connections. This so-called pick-up threshold is based on requirements from European state aid law. Bandwidths of this magnitude can also be realized by upgrading conventional copper lines.
In the coalition agreement, the black-red coalition had set itself the goal of a "network infrastructure change" to fiber, with which much faster transmissions are possible. Glass fiber should be expanded directly to the house in every region and every community, so that gigabit networks will be available across the board by 2025.
Many households nationwide can already get higher bandwidths, but not yet around 30 percent, these are the "gray spots" – especially in the country. In order to also achieve gigabit bandwidths for these households, the federal government wants to reorganize the funding program – in order to implement fiber optic expansion using public funds where expansion is not expected from the competition. A digital fund will provide ten to twelve billion euros for this in the coming years.
Dispute between Brussels and Berlin
However, future funding between Brussels and Berlin is controversial. Specifically, it is a question of whether the existing pick-up threshold should be raised to 100 Mbit per second in an intermediate step, according to the European Group, this is what the European Commission wants. This was intended to protect areas in which so-called supervectoring could still be used in the private sector. This technical process optimizes the transmission on the copper cables, especially Telekom uses this.
However, the federal government wants to completely forego a threshold in the future – because in the event of funding, areas in an expansion project could be completely and finally supplied with fiber optic connections. No "islands" with optimized copper lines would have to be left out.
. (tagsToTranslate) broadband expansion (t) fiber (t) network infrastructure