The federal government is taking steps to monitor the planning and expansion processes for nationwide fiber optic coverage. The Federal Network Agency and the Digital Ministry have established a “monitoring office” to track “double fiber optic expansion projects”. This initiative is part of the government’s gigabit strategy, which aims to provide 50% of the population with fiber optics and 5G by 2025, and all households by 2030. Concerns have been raised about uncoordinated fiber optic expansion, and the monitoring office aims to address these concerns.
Competitors of Deutsche Telekom have voiced concerns to Federal Digital Minister Volker Wissing that Germany may miss the targets set by the gigabit strategy due to uncoordinated expansion. The Federal Association of Fiber Optic Connections (Buglas) has accused Deutsche Telekom of prioritizing certain locations. Wissing has expressed concerns about the superstructure of existing lines in attractive locations.
The President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, emphasized the importance of equal opportunity competition in the expansion of fiber optic networks. The monitoring office aims to ensure fair competition and prevent anti-competitive or unfair practices. The control process will assess whether companies are using such methods. The agency has provided an online survey form for telecommunications companies, local authorities, and other relevant actors to report on their experiences and concerns.
The duration of the observation process and the next steps have not been specified. However, industry associations have welcomed the establishment of the monitoring office as a necessary step. Feedback from municipal representatives and over 100 specific cases have highlighted the need for action and timely solutions.