Broadband expansion: municipalities may not use grant money in the millions

Not only is the bureaucracy and high cost of construction, the 50-MBit/s hinder-funding program of the Federal government, but also a not well thought-out set of rules: in the Middle of the planning phase failure of many broadband funding programs.

Breitbandausbau: Gemeinden können Fördergelder in Millionenhöhe nicht nutzen

(c) Telekom Germany

Nearly 50 municipalities in Germany have to give back in the past few years, their assessments of the 50-MBit/s-support program of the Federal government. To 124 million euros were not taken funds that were already planned. The money had been for the glass fiber projects from the Federal government, and could not be retrieved, because the active landline provider had increased the bandwidth without a long-term broadband coverage can be guaranteed. The answer of the Federal Ministry of transport, to a written question from the Green party, the mirror reported.

No amount of funding in more than 30 MBit/s

The funding program of the government for broadband development provides that there is no amount of funding, if the Provider offer in the municipality a rate of more than 30 MBit/s. Only the date of the submission of the funding program does not apply, but also later looked to see whether this threshold value is exceeded.

The mirror lists the example of the Bavarian municipality of Rohrbach, in the Provider the DSL speed to more than 30 MBit/s increased. The municipality wanted to build, with production of tens of millions of euros a glass fiber project, it had to stop but the money remains unused by the Federal government.

Only shortly before the start of construction, the local Provider would have exceeded the limit of 30 MBit/s, according to a spokesman for the city of the mirror. The provider had upgraded the DSL lines after the application of the municipality to the minimum necessary high. The Provider could torpedo widths by specifying a higher band, “the best funding programs,” he said. “It is high time for bandwidth-independent and less bureaucratic funding programs.”

Criticism of the Federal government

Currently, many government subsidies for broadband development remain unused. By means of Vectoring the phone provider replace the copper cable in the streets at the limit of performance. So that you can exceed the limit of 30 MBit/s, but never GBit-speeds offer. The glass fiber cables are laid for the Vectoring only up to the distribution box, but not in the apartments.

 Techniker auf einem LTE-Mobiflunkmast von Vodafone. | (c) Vodafone Deutschland

Technician on a LTE-Mobiflunkmast of Vodafone. | (c) Vodafone Germany

Criticism comes from the Green party Vice Oliver Krischer, the Federal Minister of transport, Andreas Scheuer (CSU), the responsibility looks. “Because free money is left,” said Krischer of the mirror. “The CSU needs to be the expertise in the Ministry of transport for the digital infrastructure is taken away.” The Ministry would not comment on the request.

Funding programme used for broadband expansion is hardly

In June of 2019, it was announced that municipalities in the 50-MBit/s-used incentive program only to a small extent, and the project could be considered as a failure. Of the approximately 4.5 billion euros so far, only 150 million euros were paid out.

According to the Federal Association of broadband communication (Breko), there are other reasons for unused funds: a high administrative burden and rising construction costs. Therefore, the “very bureaucratic, designed conveyor would have to be simplified, conditions, and dramatically unified,” said an Association spokesman.

Currently, Germany is a developing country, with regard to the Development of optical fiber networks. The glass fiber content is only three percent of all broadband connections. Actually, should be supplied until the end of 2018, all households with at least a speed of 50 MBit/s. The goal was not achieved. Currently, twelve percent of households have still no 50 MBit/s.

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