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Telecoms and energy firms working together on broadband

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Telecoms and energy firms working together on broadband
Workers install fibre optic cables in Germany. Photo: DPA
09:09 CEST+02:00
Telecommunications companies could work with energy providers in the quest to provide faster internet connections to all of Germany, financial daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.

According to the paper the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Postal Service and Railways (BNetzA) is attempting to bring the two industries together.

“We're testing whether we can integrate providers in the broadband development,” BNetzA President Matthias Kurth told the paper. “This way we can promote the expansion of fast internet and lower costs.”

Negotiations are already underway, Handelsblatt reported.

“We are open to cooperation with energy companies to advance the broadband expansion together,” a statement from Deutsche Telekom said.

Essen-based energy company RWE also confirmed that they were “actively engaged in the subject” of “technical synergies.”

In May 2009, the German city and community alliance (DStGB), urged the government to “remove regulatory shackles” in the task of providing the entire country with speedy internet connections.

There are still large swathes of the German countryside – and a total of five million Germans – without a broadband connection, DStGB reported.

According to the organisation, just one percent of German households are connected to the fibre optic cable network per year, compared to a rate of 10 percent in the US. Meanwhile Japan has already connected some 85 percent of their population to the network.

Early this year, the government announced a goal of making fast internet connections available to the entire country by the end of 2010.

The Bundesrat, or the upper house of parliament, decided in mid-May to improve internet connections in rural areas, but German states want to know who will take on the cost of these projects.

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