Broadband Internet in Germany continues to be a problem

Broadband Internet in Germany continues to be a problem
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Christian Boas

Only 42 percent of all German companies with access to the Internet and at least ten employees have a fast Internet connection in 2017, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Friday. Under a quick connection statisticians understand a fixed broadband connection with a contracted data transfer rate of at least 30 megabits per second.


If Germany does not soon leave the European midfield behind it, it will lose its connection with the urgently needed digitization of the economy, Barbara Engels, economist at the Institute of German Economics recently told the news agency dpa. Although more and more regions have access to broadband Internet, the pace of expansion remains too low. This concerns above all enterprises in the country. Here there is a classic chicken and egg problem: Because fast Internet is in short supply, it often does not determine the products and business models of the companies – and is therefore not required.

Ungleichverteilung der Internetgeschwindigkeit (Grafik: Destatis)

The Danish market remains the leader
According to the authorities, according to the authorities, Germany is in the European midfield as in previous years and just above the average of all 28 EU member states (40 percent). Compared to the previous year, the share of companies with fast Internet in Germany has risen by four percentage points (2016: 38 percent). The EU average rose slightly more strongly at six percentage points (2016: 34 percent).

The top places in the EU in 2017 were Denmark (73 percent), the Netherlands (65 percent) and Sweden (64 percent). The least widespread was fast Internet access among businesses in Cyprus (25 percent), Greece (25 percent) and Italy (23 percent).

No full bandwidth
According to the evaluation of the roughly 700,000 bandwidth measurements carried out by the Federal Network Agency, the German Internet service providers do not score very well: many users do not even receive half of the promised bandwidth. Thus, 71.6 percent of users received at least half of the contractually agreed maximum data transfer rate. Only 12 percent of subscribers could actually use the maximum speed. Overall, not much has changed in comparison to the previous year. Again, two-thirds of the customers were at least satisfied with their provider’s performance.

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