Sunday, September 20, 2015

Germany promises 50Mbps broadband for all, 10 times faster than global average

Germany promises 50Mbps broadband for all, 10 times faster than global average: As around 70 percent of Germany is already connected to networks of 50Mbps or faster, it will be a relatively ‘cheap’ task to connect the final 30 percent. The German government is putting aside €2.7 billion for the project, but will be looking for matched funding from local providers who will benefit from extending the reach of high-speed broadband networks.

“The German Federation will contribute up to 50 percent of the costs. A combination with development programs provided by German states is possible and can offer a further 40 percent of financing. The community would then have to provide the remaining 10 percent,” a spokesperson said.

The implicit policy assumption here is that by providing generous federal government and German state contributions along with a minor (10 percent) community contribution, the incumbent providers will have incentive to undertake Internet infrastructure construction and modernization.

The economics don't work out quite the same way in the United States. Unlike Germany, it isn't "relatively cheap" to build telecommunications infrastructure to reach the 55 million Americans who according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission aren't offered service meeting even half Germany's benchmark. Instead of an ambitious initiative to bring fiber to nearly all American premises, U.S. policy is to provide small subsidies to incumbent telephone companies to build one off, 1990s-era DSL projects using existing copper outside plant serving small numbers of premises that don't even meet the FCC's benchmark and are already obsolete given burgeoning Internet bandwidth demand.

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